Banerjee puts railway stations in makeover mode

February 25th, 2011 - 7:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) Railway stations in the country are in a makeover mode to bridge the divide between heritage, tourism, utility, transport and sustainable urban development.Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday gave a fresh impetus to the process of upgrading railway stations as multi-use urban heritage centres with the announcement of a partnership with the tourism ministry.

Presenting the railway budget for 2011-12 in the Lok Sabha Friday, Banerjee said that “based on the experience this year, this partnership will be expanded and the cost will be shared on equal basis.”

The railway stations chosen for the upgrade include Hyderabad, Hospet, Agra, Rae Bareli, Belur, Varanasi, Kamakhya, Haridwar, Dooars, Gaya, Madurai, Thiruvananthapuram, Furfura Sharief, Amritsar, Aurangabad, Nanded, Puri, Rameshwaram, Tirupati, Guwahati, Jaipur, Ajmer, Tarapith and Tarakeshwar.

Most of the railway stations on the railway ministry’s agenda are of spiritual significance, serving as gateways to pilgrimage towns.

Banerjee said the “looks and approaches to some selected railway stations will be improved under a partnership with the ministry of tourism.”

One of the major instances of the beautification of a railway station that relates to the history of Indian Railway is the makeover of the Kanpur Central railway junction.

A prime agenda on Banerjee’s budgetary proposals, the Kanpur Central has been illuminated with LED and neon signboards and lights.

A proposal to provide facade lighting to the building, an architectural and historical landmark, is under consideration.

A round-the-clock water monitoring system has been put in place to address water scarcity and a passenger facilitation centre helps commuters access the facilities at the rail junction.

Kanpur Central was one of the first rail heads in northern India to flag off a train March 3, 1859. The junction daily serves more than 1.5 lakh passengers with more 300 trains transiting through.

One of the landmarks of the historic walled city of Delhi is the imposing Old Delhi Railway Station, a British heritage relic which sports a blend of old colonial architecture, new age amenities, brisk commerce and clean interiors.

The rail head, one of the oldest in the northern part of the country which was beautified recently, bears testimony to the government’s efforts to spruce up railway stations as areas of utility, beauty and regeneration of heritage infrastructure as areas of entertainment and commercial use.

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