In an attempt to improve passenger amenities and to provide an aesthetic makeover for the most visited railway stations across the Indian Railways system, India’s Ministry of Railways has formulated the plan to redevelop 90 stations across the country.
The goal is three-fold: 1) to renew and celebrate their heritage, 2) to remake them as modern transit hubs, with CCTV cameras, Wifi, modular water kiosks, LED lights, lifts, escalators, stainless steel benches, and modular catering kiosks, and 3) to help revitalize the surrounding neighborhoods.
The redevelopment plan for the 90 stations is being assigned to different zones/ nodal agencies. Given that some stations are important pilgrimage hubs and report over 45,000 visitors per day, Indian Railways will strive to ensure that passenger services will not be disrupted, especially during peak seasons.
This new announcement is an expansion of an Indian Railways program that is already in the process of redeveloping over 600 stations nationwide. The restorations and renovations will showcase local culture and history in the stations’ façades. For instance:
- Aurangabad station is to be renovated along the lines of Ajantha or Ellora.
- Agra station will be redeveloped along the lines of the Taj Mahal.
- Ujjain station will be restored along the lines of the Mahakaleshwar temples.
- The citrus-growing region’s Nagpur station will have a big orange on the premises.
- Since Belgaum has a history of Mahatma Gandhi‘s visiting there, their station will have a large Charkha at the front.
The Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) is also working to preserve elements of local heritage in their facade renovations of station buildings.
For instance: in Charbagh (Lucknow) elements of existing heritage building are incorporated in second entry NE Rly station, similarly, in Gomti Nagar, elements of Awadh culture with Jali work has been incorporated.
In the Triputi station, Lord Tirumala temple design has been incorporated. In Pondicherry, French colonial architectural elements are being enhanced. Similar actions will be taken for the Goa Kota Nellore Ernakulam stations.
Featured photo of Charbagh railway station courtesy of Indian Railways.