Come April, the Patliputra railway station will become functional easing the pressure on Patna Junction and Rajendra Nagar Terminal.
The station could have started operations in late-2012 but for the railway’s decision to use the station for express trains as well. Now, with arrangements being made to cope with the increased number of passengers, the authorities look to open the Patliputra station by the last week of April.
A senior officer at the Danapur division of East Central Railway said: “The commissioner of railway safety has given his nod and the station is ready as far as safety of passengers is concerned. Once the pending work at the station is complete, it would become functional by April this year.”
The commissioner of railway safety, eastern region, R.P. Yadav, had inspected the city’s third railway station and approved its operation on October 12, 2012.
The new station can help ease the pressure on the city’s other two railway stations through which around 350 trains pass daily. Once ready, the Patliputra station could also be used as a halt by trains that end up taking up space at Patna Junction.
On what held up the opening of the station, the Danapur division officer said: “Earlier, the plan was to start passenger train services at Patliputra station but now we have decided to use it for express trains as well. So, the facilities for passengers have to be made accordingly.” Railway officials said steps are being taken to make the Patliputra station, around 12km northwest of Patna Junction, swanky and passenger-friendly. The station is being constructed at a cost of Rs 1.5 crore. The contractor assigned the job at the station said: “Work is going on in full swing and we expect to complete it by March 2013.”
At present, some arrangements are missing at the station and the rest — parking space and capacity of waiting rooms — are being modified. The booking-cum-reservation window, enquiry counter, parcel office, Government Railway Police and Railway Protection Force rooms are also being modified to handle the expected rush of passengers.
While the station’s parking lot can accommodate around hundred autorickshaws and 50 cars, more space is being created for vehicles. The capacity of the waiting rooms is also being increased from around 60 to 150.
The officer added: “The waiting room is not adequate and we need more space to accommodate passengers. There is also a problem of 24-hour water supply for passengers as well as for cleaning the trains. The station also needs more benches and restroom, while the shades on the platforms have to be extended. Express trains have more compartments than passenger trains.”
The two-storeyed station building has a separate restroom for the travelling ticket examiner. “Lights have been installed at the three platforms with five railway tracks. Initially, only track numbers 1, 4 and 5 would be used for passenger and express trains. Later, track numbers 2 and 3 would also be used,” the officer said.