BY Hemanshu, Milind, Anmol, Ashish, Rohit
Field visits form an integral part of our project under the course innovative design. Of the numerous places we visited, the Nagpur Railway Station was one of the most interesting ones.
Summers in Nagpur are known to be brutal. The blistering heat can push the temperatures upto 48 degree Celsius. And travel in such cruel temperatures can be a vicious ordeal. Under the new government, the Indian Railways is seeing numerous innovations in all fields. One such grave problem happens to be tackling of heat at the open platforms at Railway Stations.
Our topic for the project happens to be the designing of a new and reusable drinking water bottle. We had planned to get reviews on the existing design of bottles from passengers, vendors, garbage collectors and officials at the railway station. Noon happens to be the ideal time as the demand for water would be the highest during that time.
As we reached the first platform on the station, we were delighted to be greeted by a cool breeze. My first reaction was that of shock as I had never expected such a fall in temperature in a place with so much rush and crowd at this time of the day. We noticed sprays of mist coming out of nozzles on pipes running throughout the length of the platform along the overhead shed. It reminded me of the poster of the movie Main Hoo Naa!!
The misting system sprinkled droplets of water which with a light breeze that looked like fog, resulting in a dip in the temperature. It neither dampened the floor nor was there any chance of floor getting slippery because of the water. The droplets were like drizzle. The misting system created a green house kind of affect when switched on and it would decrease the temperature of the platform to 9-10 degrees celsius.
Seeing this system at work, a question striked my mind: what about the wastage of water? We soon got the answer to this. We noticed a plaque stating that the water used in this misting system and the cleaning of platforms is recycled waste water.
During the summers, the citizens have to face a tough time waiting for trains at the station. In the months of May and June, it becomes terrible when the city is badly hit by the hot waves. Therefore, to give some relief to the people, this initiative to launch misting system on the platforms has been taken. As a trial basis, this system is installed at the 1st platform and would be extended to other eventually.
It is not only a boon to the passengers but also the vendors and small shop owners who have to bear the heat all day long. A book vendor who runs a small shop at platform number one said, “It becomes almost impossible to stand all day at the shop in the peak summers during May and June. Misting system has come like a blessing for us,” he said.
On further research online about this technology, we found that this method has already been used at Raipur, Durg and is being extended to many other stations. This technology has also been used in Bangkok.
It is an excellent example of how some simple ideas can be employed to tackle large scale problems. Simple and effective solutions like these are the need of the hour and witnessing this initiative gave us a real insight on the need of courses like Innovative Design in colleges in developing countries like India.