New plan for modernisation of ND railway station

New Delhi: With a Rs 10,000-crore plan to give a facelift to New Delhi railway station making little headway, Railways are working on a fresh proposal to give an "international feel" to the facility as originally envisaged at a fraction of the earlier estimated cost.

"The new proposal will replace the earlier plan and involves an investment of a little over Rs 150 crore, which is a fraction of Rs 10,000 crore as envisaged for converting it into a world class one," according to senior railway officials.

A presentation in this regard has already been made before the Railway Board including the Railway Minister. The proposal also includes converting Old Delhi and Hazrat Nizamuddin stations with matching modern day requirements and passenger-friendly features.

The total anticipated cost for transforming all the three stations has been pegged at Rs 250 crore.

"Railway Board, however, feels that the cost can be further rationalised and has asked Northern Railway to fine tune the proposal in line with the available resources," officials said.

Northern railway sources felt the modernisation programme of the three station needs to be expedited in view of the rising traffic and increased passenger rush.

New Delhi station alone handles over 300 trains and seven lakh passengers per day, making it one of the busiest stations in the country.

The new proposal includes separation of arrival and departure areas, regulating entry and exit at the main gates, modern high capacity parking lot, food courts, lounge etc.

The modernisation programme for New Delhi station also includes separating the ticketing area from the concourse, relocating the railway mail service and improving other areas such as parcel, washing lines base kitchen and food handling.

The proposal has provisions for hassle-free approaches to the station, controlling access to platforms, extensive use of stainless steel in passenger areas.

Railways had earlier proposed to convert New Delhi station along with several other important stations across the country into world class stations, but the plans have not yet materialised.

The ambitious plans included converting the stations through PPP mode boasting of a state of the art infrastructure.

Things, however, did not look as promising. In case of New Delhi station, civic bodies including Delhi traffic police objected to the proposal on technical grounds. There has been no headway since then, the officials said.