Indian Railways to transform 90 stations into ‘airport-like’ transit hubs
The Railway Ministry has decided to redevelop 90 railway stations into world-class transit hubs. The move has been decided in order to enhance passenger amenities at railway stations, hence providing a world-class experience.
The redevelopment plan will include many major railway stations, which will be provided with many facilities including CCTV cameras, Wifi, renovation of the station buildings, modular water kiosks, water ATMs, LED lights, lifts, escalators, stainless steel benches, modular catering kiosks etc. Apart from these facilities, waiting halls, waiting rooms, retiring rooms, wash rooms of the stations will be improved as well.
The 90 selected railways stations which will be converted into world class transit hubs include many major railway stations across the nation such as Tirupati, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada stations of Andhra Pradesh, Guwahati station of Assam, Patna, Patliputra, Sonpur stations of Bihar, Chandigarh station of Chandigarh, Raipur station of Chhattisgarh, Safdarjung, Anand Vihar stations of Delhi, Madgaon station of Goa, Gandhinagar, Surat, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Vadodra stations of Gujarat, Ambala station of Haryana, Shimla station of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu Tavi station of Jammu and Kashmir, Ranchi station of Jharkhand, Mysuru station of Karnataka, Kozhikode, Kottayam, Palakkad statons of Kerala, Jabalpur, Bhopal stations of Madhya Pradesh, Shivaji Nagar, Lonawala, Pune stations of Maharashtra, Bhubaneswar, Cuttak stations of Odisha, Puducherry station of Puducherry, Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur stations of Rajasthan, Madurai, Chennai Egmore, Tiruchchirappalli stations of Tamil Nadu, Warangal station of Telangana, Lucknow, Allahabad, Jhansi, Mathura, Varanasi Junction, Ayodhya, Gorakhpur stations of Uttar Pradesh, Dehradun, Haridwar stations of Uttarakhand, Asansol, Howrah, Darjeeling stations of West Bengal. Apart from these, many more stations across the country will undergo the renovation plan.
Redevelopment of railway stations
Redevelopment of railway stations
For the redevelopment of over 600 major railway stations, the national transporter also launched an idea competition SRIJAN (Station Rejuvenation through Joint Action). The idea competition was launched at MyGov portal, under which all stakeholders like railway passengers, architects, urban planners, engineers are allowed to send their ideas for the stations’ redevelopment. However, the last date to submit the entries for this competition is March 26, 2018.
In order to give a power boost to its services, Indian Railways is all set to use satellite imagery, GPS and GIS to monitor, maintain and manage its assets across the country.
There are two major projects that have been undertaken by the Indian Railways. One is mapping of the entire railway asset infrastructure – which is in two phases; the first is the mapping of the entire track network in the country and in the second phase is mapping of railway land and other assets along the tracks, the Ministry of Railways said in a statement.
Elaborating on this, Sanjay Das Additional Member Railway Board (Computerisation and Information Systems), former MD CRIS said, “We are working in-house for the mapping of the data and have developed a GIS module for this. Under this, the track maintenance trolleys are being fitted with GPS chips and as the trolley moves, the track gets mapped.”
The land and asset mapping exercise will help the Railways majorly to identify encroachments, as well as enable Railways to keep a tab on them and use for future planning exercise.
Creating a milestone
An MoU has been signed between ISRO and Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS) to develop this application. In this application land plans of Indian Railways will be available for viewing overlaid on satellite imagery. The INR 380-million asset mapping project was started in April 2017 when the railway ministry signed an agreement with Indian Space Research Organisation.
Das further said, “We are collaborating with NRSC for this project where they have provided us with Cartosat imagery and Bhuvan data for making the maps. In addition, we are also flying drones to map the tracks. However, I must admit that the progress is a bit slow as we are doing it all in-house. We can expedite it with better interaction with the private industry.”
The other important project that the Railways is working on is the real-time tracking of trains. Under this, NavIC devices will be installed in the entire fleet of about 12,000 locomotives to locate each train accurately. Railways is working with ISRO on this project. This data will be put into the Railways control office application through which it will be disseminated on a real-time basis to all passengers.
“This application will be hugely beneficial to keep a check on the safety aspect. Once the exact location of the train is determined, we can take advanced measures; rectify the problem area to avert any mishaps. The technology will also be used to give warning at unmanned level crossings,” Das said.
Railways is also thinking of 3D mapping of all the stations. Under this project six stations have been chosen as pilots. Here also NRSC is involved and they have mapped two stations including Varanasi and New Delhi. Once the 3D mapping is complete, passengers will have an application through which they will be able to visualize the entire station in 3D and thus locate any services at the stations. Here too, we hope that the private players will play an important role in the coming times.