Watch: Habibganj and Gandhinagar, Indian Railways’s World-Class Airport-Like Stations Set To Open In March 2020

Swarajya StaffSunday, November 10, 2019 4:52 pm IST
An artist’s drawing of the redeveloped Habibganj Railway Station in Bhopal. (Bansal Group)
An artist’s drawing of the redeveloped Habibganj Railway Station in Bhopal. (Bansal Group)

The Indian Railways’s ambitious station redevelopment plan, beseted with teething troubles, is finally gaining significant momentum with revamp of Habibganj and Gandhinagar set to be completed by March next year, The Financial Express reported.

Redevelopment of major stations across the country is planned to be executed by leveraging commercial development of land and air space in and around the station. This program will help provide state-of-the-art amenities for passengers and generate additional revenues for Railways.

The work at Habibganj station in Madhya Pradesh is likely to be completed by January next year while the redevelopment of the Gandhinagar railway station will be done by March 2020.

The contracts for five other station redevelopment projects of Gomti Nagar (Lucknow), Charbagh (Lucknow), Puducherry, Triupathi and Chandigarh has been awarded and work has commenced in some of them.

Habibganj Station - Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation (IRSDC) and the Bhopal-based Bansal Group are redeveloping the Habibganj station. Bansal group will operate and maintain the station for eight years. Rs 450 crore are being spent on the redevelopment of the railway station, out of which Rs 100 crore will be spent on station development and Rs 350 crore has been sanctioned for the development of commercial space.

The new-look Habibganj railway station will boast of a glass dome-like structure and have facilities such as food plazas & cafeterias and a plush waiting lounge.

The station is being remodelled on the lines of Germany’s Heidelberg station. The station will be a green building with LED lighting. The redevelopment includes setting up of a glass dome structure at the entrance, swanky waiting lounges, museums and LED lighting among other features.

In order to decongest the station, exit underpass is being made for passengers de-boarding trains along with passenger holding area on the platform. On the western side of the station, there will be commercial establishments, a bus terminal and office lobbies. Service apartments will be built outside the station along with hotels, hospitals, spas and a convention centre will be outside on the eastern side of the station, the first of its kind in India.

Gandhinagar Railway Station - Gandhinagar railway station is being redeveloped into a travel hub for Rs 250 crore. The amenities at the new station would be on par with the facilities at airports. The station would boast of a dedicated transit corridor which will house food stalls, book stalls, and a 600-seater waiting lounge. A five-star hotel of 300 rooms is being developed in air space above the railway station.

Chandigarh Railway Station - The Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Limited (IRSDC) recently awarded the project for redevelopment of Chandigarh Railway Station to Ludhiana based infrastructure firm Deepak Builders and Engineers Private Limited (DBEPL).

The redeveloped Chandigarh station will be equipped with commuter-friendly world-class facilities such as subways for all six platforms, new lights, clean toilets, waiting lounges, hotels and a one shopping complex, road under the bridge, development of a 45-meter long road from Kalagram to Panchkula railway station, foot overbridges, air concourse, high-tech security surveillance, free wifi and bottle crushing machines.

Gomti Nagar - B. L.Kashyap & Sons has secured the order for redevelopment of Gomti Nagar Lucknow Railway Station on Design, Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) basis including operation & Maintenance for 2 years' built up area approx. 10 lakhs sq. ft. worth Rs. 360 cror

Surat - The railway station of Surat is being redeveloped as a Multi-Modal Transportation Hub (MMTH) at a cost of Rs. 650 crores. The unique factor of this station is that it will have connectivity to people using multiple modes of transport, such as railway, long-distance bus, city bus, BRTS and HMC buses auto, taxi, non-motorised vehicles, the proposed urban metro railway, etc.

Among the 14 railway stations included in latest plan for station redevelopment include Kolkata Terminal, Kanpur Central, Kalyan Junction, Ludhiana, Hyderabad and Udaipur City.

After an excruciatingly slow pace of work, the station development program has gained considerable traction in the past year and is expected to gather further momentum with multiple station redevelopment projects in the pipeline.

As per the original plan conceptualised by then union railway minister Suresh Prabhu, ‘A1’ and ‘A’ category stations, identified by Zonal Railways through Cabinet approved procedures and for a lease period of 45 years, were supposed to be redeveloped. However, insufficient interest was visible amongst the prospective bidders due to various issues including multiple sub leasing, simplified bid procedures, etc.

Therefore, an improvised and simpler program design including these issues and under a specialised executing agency (IRSDC), incorporating suitable structural, process and parameters changes, was adopted to revamp the station redevelopment program.

Get Swarajya in your inbox.


Swarajya Magazine Cover Image