The Indian Railways is planning to convert 90 stations across the country into modern transit hubs, the Financial Express has reported.
According to the report, the Railways will equip these stations with CCTV cameras, Wifi, modular water kiosks, LED lights, lifts, escalators, stainless steel benches, modular catering kiosks. Renovation of buildings to will be an important part of the redevelopment plan, which also found mention in Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s 2018 budget speech. Special emphasis will be laid on showcasing local culture and history by incorporating local elements in station facades.
Tirupati station in Andhra Pradesh, Jammu Tavi station in Jammu and Kashmir, Tiruchchirappalli station in Tamil Nadu, Allahabad, Mathura, Varanasi and Ayodhya stations in Uttar Pradesh and Haridwar station in Uttarakhand are among those being redeveloped by the railways. All these railway stations serve towns and cities with one or more important Hindu religious sites. Including these stations in the redevelopment program will prove beneficial as India moves towards becoming the third largest tourism economy in the world in the next ten years.
The decision to redevelop 90 stations comes after the railways decided to renovate over 600 major stations in the country. For this, the national transporter had launched an ideas competition called SRIJAN (Station Rejuvenation through Joint Action). Under SRIJAN, the railways had invited all stakeholders like passengers, architects, urban planners and engineers to send their ideas for station redevelopment plan.
This comes amid reports of lukewarm response from the private sector to the station redevelopment program. According to the Economic Times, the Indian Railways has decided to revamp 68 major railway stations in the country on its own under the Engineering, Procurement and Construction mode.
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