Indian Railways all set to offer world-class experience to passengers with swanky, revamped railway stations

Devanjana Nag

Soon, Indian Railways to have world-class airport-like railway stations! Currently, the national transporter is carrying out redevelopment work of many Indian Railways stations through Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA), Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Limited (IRSDC) along with other central government agencies. In a written reply to a query, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal recently informed Lok Sabha that redevelopment of railway stations is planned through leveraging commercial development of vacant land in and around station premises, i.e. redevelopment of stations shall generally be cost-neutral to Indian Railways.

The Railway Minister informed that redevelopment works of Habibganj and Gandhinagar railway stations into world-class travel hubs are currently in progress. The redevelopment work of Habibganj and Gandhinagar stations is being carried out by IRSDC. The Railway Ministry is redeveloping Bhubaneshwar railway station in cooperation with the state government of Odisha.

For the redevelopment of Dehradun railway station, RLDA has signed an MoU with Mussoorie Dehradun Development Authority (MDDA). RLDA has also signed an MoU with the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) in April 2019, for transforming Ajni station in Nagpur into a multi-modal hub. Many other railway stations are likely to be transformed into swanky travel hubs including Anand Vihar, Bijwasan, Surat, Chandigarh, Shivaji Nagar, Baiyappanahalli, Nagpur, Gandhi Nagar (Jaipur), Sabarmati, Kanpur, Gwalior, Amritsar and Thakurli stations.

Besides world-class railway stations, Indian Railways is also upgrading many other railway stations under various modernization schemes like Modern Station Scheme, Model Station Scheme and Adarsh Station Scheme. According to Goyal, the development of railway stations under Model Station Scheme and Modern Station Scheme is now completed. Further, under Adarsh Station Scheme, a total of 1,253 stations have been identified for development out of which, 1,149 stations have already been developed. The remaining railway stations are likely to be upgraded by 2019-20, the minister stated.