Chennai, Feb 26 (IANS) Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal Tuesday granted a veritable boon to the beleaguered wind turbine sector by announcing a proposal for setting up 75 MW windmill units.
Presenting the railway budget for 2013-14, Bansal announced "setting up of 75 MW windmill plants and energising 1,000 level crossings with solar power".
He said that as a measure to protect the environment and to promote sustainable development, a railway energy management company will be set up to harness the potential of wind and solar power.
Welcoming the minister's announcement, Ramesh Kymal, chairman, IndianWind Turbine Manufacturers Association, told IANS: "It is a positive news for the sector. The railways have pan-India presence and can put up the windmills across the country."
Though railways have been talking about harnessing wind power for quite long, it is only Bansal who has "bitten the bullet", Kymal added.
"We have been talking to the railways for the past three-four years," he said.
With the scrapping of accelerated depreciation and generation-based incentive schemes, the Indian wind power sector has lost steam and only the orders from public sector units are giving the manufacturers a whiff of fresh air.