Thumbs up: The Dhanbad junction looks welcoming on Thursday. Picture by Gautam Dey
Dhanbad station has chugged into the top class.
It has become the first in Jharkhand to bag A1 status, which means that from now on, passengers boarding trains from there will be able to enjoy a host of extra amenities starting from pre-paid taxi service to air coolers on platforms.
Dhanbad railway division received a faxed message, confirming the grant of A1 grade to the station, from East Central Railway headquarters on Wednesday evening. The message also confirmed that Parasnath and Singrauli stations, which also fall under Dhanbad division, have been upgraded to A category. The division has over 113 stations spread across four states — Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh — under it.
The facilities that Dhanbad station will now boast after its promotion include prepaid taxi service, air-conditioned executive lounge, battery-operated cars for passengers on platforms, trolleys for carrying luggage, escalators and lifts. There will be also separate waiting halls for women, air coolers at each platform and mobile changing points.
The A1 status will also ensure better food facilities at the station and raised platforms.
Although no one-time grant will be provided to the station as a part of the upgrade, funds will be released to carry out these projects as and when necessary.
Senior divisional commercial manager of Dhanbad, East Central Railway, Dayanand said several of these prescribed facilities were already being added to the station, while the rest will come up with availability of funds.
“The prepaid taxi service and parking space will be ready soon after circulating area of the station is developed for which work is going on at full pace. Escalators are also being installed on platform Nos. 2 and 3 and are likely to be completed before September-end,” he added.
Dayanand further said the tender process for establishing a food plaza had already been completed. “The Fast Food Unit will come into existence within a month, while the process for identification of land for setting up the executive lounge is on,” he said.
About raised platforms, Dayanand said: “The height of other platforms (there are seven in total) at Dhanbad station, except Nos. 2 and 3, is slightly lower than the standard measurement. Hence, we will raise these two platforms soon.”
The country’s railway stations are divided into seven categories — AI, A, B, C, D, E, F on the basis of their income. Stations having an income of more than Rs 60 crore from passenger fare are grouped under A1 category. Dhanbad station registered Rs 62 crore in 2012-13 to bag that coveted status.
Last year, Dhanbad railway authorities initiated a number of measures to add passenger amenities like CCTV monitoring system for reservation counter, direct enquiry counter, first AC waiting hall for TTEs et al.