Two Railway Stations in India are all set to get a makeover and obtain airport like railway stations. They are Habibganj railway station in Madhya Pradesh and Gandhinagar railway station in Gujarat, reports from PTI.
As a part of the government's determined one lakh crore rupee station redevelopment program to speed up the modernization drive of the Indian Railways. Shortly the two stations will get the make overlook.
S K Lohia, the Managing Director and CEO of the Indian Railway Station Development Corporation (IRSDC) said that the "Habibganj station will be ready by December this year and Gandhinagar station will be completed by January 2019". He further confirmed that the Gandhinagar Station will be inaugurated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit which is scheduled to be held during January 2019.
List of facilities and amenities at Habibganj Station, Bhopal
Mr. Lohia said that the station will include 600 comfortable waiting benches, clean and hygienic toilets and large retail areas (similar to airports)". He further mentioned that the "Railways is also exploring other ideas such as lounges and video-game zones, as well as virtual museums for these stations."
The stations will provide free and secure Wifi facilities to all the passengers. The available retail space will have a cafe, shops, and restaurants.
The Habibganj railway station will also have a totally new building, which will have a massive glass dome-like structure to give it a futuristic look. The station will also have a plush waiting lounge comparable with any leading airports and it will have a dedicated food plaza and cafeterias, he added.
Mr. Lohia also elaborated about the costs involved to develop the Habibganj and Gandhinagar railway stations, and what it will take to sustain them.
"The entire responsibility for maintenance and revenue generation from these railway stations lies with the IRSDC (Indian Railway Station Development Corporation), and we have to make sure that these stations are revenue surplus and to the extent that it can be invested back in the maintenance and development of the station in the future," he said.
Once fully ready, the cost of maintenance of the Habibganj station will be in the range of Rs 4 to Rs 5 crore per annum, he said. The estimated revenue will be between Rs 6.5 and Rs 7 crore per annum, with a planned increase to more than Rs 10 crores per annum, he said.
The overall redevelopment project of Habibganj Station is expected to be Rs 450 crore. Out of this, Rs 100 crores would be spent on station redevelopment and Rs 350 crores on commercial development, Mr. Lohia said.
List of facilities and amenities at Gandhinagar Station, Gujarat
The Gandhinagar Station will be completed in two years and it will have similar facilities as Habibganj station. The foundation stone for Gandhinagar station was laid down in January 2017 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"42 percent of the civil work has already been completed and it will be ready in time to hold the Vibrant Gujarat Summit in January 2019," he said.
The station is redeveloped at a cost of Rs 250 crores. It is funded jointly by IRSDC and the Gujarat State government. Apart from the station, the project will include a 300 room five-star hotel.
The hotel will have three arched buildings combined together to give it the shape of petals.