Bhubaneswar, June 17: Images of crowd, chaos and filth are bound to flood your mind whenever you think of the city railway station. But a Rs 230-crore plan promises to change all that.
The East Coast Railway (ECoR) and the state government have joined hands to execute the project and work has already begun to construct four new platforms at the railway station. While the Rail Vikash Nigam Limited is building two of these platforms towards the old station end, the ECoR is constructing another two.
To facilitate construction and ensure overall beautification of the railway station, the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), along with the state government's general administration department, had on June 7 carried out a demolition drive near the station. Over 100 kiosks and some religious structures were razed.
The ECoR and the public works department (PWD) of the state government have worked out a master plan for the development of the railway station and its adjoining areas.
“We have taken up measures to improve the Old Station Road and areas along the Cuttack Road so that passengers have greater access to the railway station. Two more platforms will add to the passenger inflow from that end. We have already initiated a detailed project report (DPR) to build a flyover at Master Canteen Square near the entrance to the existing station square. The tender process for the flyover will start by the end of this year,” said chief engineer (roads) B.C. Pradhan.
Sources said, earlier the ECoR was planning to have two new platforms to the existing four in the city railway station, but with the addition of another two, the station would have a better connectivity and passenger convenience.
Chief public relations officer, ECoR, J.P. Mishra said: “The state government and especially the BDA authorities have extended all support for the proposed development work and upgrade of the city station to international standards.”
Sources in the ECoR, however, added that post-makeover, the city railway station would have a multi-storeyed building. While it will have four upper class waiting halls to accommodate 600 passengers, the two executive lounges will have a capacity to lodge 100 people. This apart, five second-class waiting halls will have a combined capacity of 1,000. In addition to all these, all the floors will have retiring rooms and dormitories (both air-conditioned and general), which will be equipped with modern amenities.
“All the floors of the proposed station building will have multi-cuisine restaurants, bookshops, medicine counters and their ambience will certainly match the departure lounge of any modern airport,’’ said a senior railway official.
As parking is a major problem near the station, a seven-storeyed facility will be an answer to the present mess. The multi-storeyed parking facility will have a 4,000sqm basement to accommodate 3,200 scooters as well as cycles. The first floor will have booking counters, while 900 cars can be parked from the second to seventh floor. “We have been hearing about a world class railway station for a long time now. That the area has been made free from encroachers, work should start immediately,’’ said Bijaylaxmi Patnaik, who is a retired professor of anthropology.
However, the success of the plan hinges on fund allocation to be made in the first railway budget to be presented by the Narendra Modi government shortly.