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Railways plans to modernise 1,000 small stations under Amrit Bharat Station Scheme


NEW DELHI: The railways is planning to modernise 1,000 small yet important stations under the new “Amrit Bharat Station Scheme”. This is apart from the ambitious plan to revamp 200 big stations under a separate redevelopment programme.

Officials said the small stations would be identified not just for their footfalls but also based on the cities they cater to.

“The aim is to identify developing cities with potential and envisage railway stations as city centres that would link not just various parts of the city but also between different cities in the future. The plan is to map everything connected to it — bridges and different modes of transport.

“The idea is to start modernising stations in a cost-effective manner. According to need, the divisional railway managers (DRMs) will take a call on modernisation works in a phased manner,” an official said.

A special fund will also be earmarked with the DRMs for this purpose.

According to the scheme document, it aims at preparing master plans of railway stations and implementing those in phases to enhance facilities including and beyond the minimum essential amenities and aim for the creation of roof plazas and city centres at stations.

The scheme’s target is the introduction of new amenities as well as to upgrade and replace existing facilities, it said.

These stations will be redeveloped under what is being internally called the “Khurda model of redevelopment”.

Khurda station in Odisha was modernised for Rs 4 crore with all contemporary amenities for passengers. The main structure was renovated, the facade was redone and the number of railway tracks was also increased.

DRMs were taken on a tour of the Khurda station to get a feel of what can be done under the new scheme, the official said.

The new scheme envisages cost-efficient improvement to facades and makes provisions for wide, well-lit and aesthetically pleasing entrance porches.

The DRMs have been instructed to review existing buildings in the station premises and release space for passengers near the entrances and enable relocation of rail offices to other places.

“The scheme aims at relocating redundant/old buildings in a cost-efficient manner so that the space is released for higher priority passenger-related activities and so that future development may be carried out smoothly.

“Creation of new buildings should generally be avoided other than those required for relocation of old structures or relocation of structures to improve circulation or provision of structures to improve the size of waiting halls. Decision on this shall be taken by the DRM,” the scheme document said.

Modernisation of these stations would include improved station approaches to ensure smooth access by widening roads, removal of unwanted structures, properly designed signages, dedicated pedestrian pathways, well-planned parking areas, and improved lighting among others.

“Elements of landscaping, green patches and local art and culture should be used to create a pleasant experience for the station users. This should be done with the help of suitable professionals,” the document said.

The station should also have a second entry station building and high-level platforms with a length of 600m. (PTI)

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