In line with PM’s vision to transform and develop railway stations as not only a means of service but as an asset, Indian Railways has identified 204 stations across the country for redevelopment out of which the work of redevelopment of three stations have been commissioned while the work of 43 stations are in progress. The Ministry of Railways has given immense importance to development of railway stations into world class terminals with modern amenities so that even a common railway passenger experiences a comfortable, convenient and enjoyable rail travel.
According to a press release issued by Public Relations Deptt. of Western Railway, the railway stations are the central point of convergence for any city. The fundamental idea behind the redevelopment of the stations is to have integral development with the city, creating sufficient urban space with a citycentre like place. Both sides of the city will be connected, with the station building on both sides of the railway tracks. Every station will have a spacious roof plaza above the platforms with all passenger amenities at one place along with spaces for retail, cafeterias and recreational facilities like food court, waiting lounge, playing area for children, kiosks for local products, etc. For enhanced passenger convenience, there will be proper signages, lifts/escalators/travellators, with special attention to provide Divyang-friendly facilities. There will be segregation of arrival/departures with adequate parking facilities and will allow smooth movement of traffic. Also, the other modes of transportation like metro, bus etc. will be integrated through skywalks, travellators, etc for seamless connectivity.
It is a matter of immense pride that Western Railway’s Gandhinagar Capital in Gujarat was the first such station over Indian Railways to be redeveloped into a world class station, the other two being Rani Kamalapati, near Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh and Sir M. Visvesvaraya Terminal in Bengaluru, Karnataka. Further, the work of redevelopment is in progress at 6 stations over WR namely Somnath, Surat, Udhna, Sabarmati, New Bhuj and Ahmedabad stations.
Giving further details on the stations being redeveloped in Western Railway, it is worth mentioning that the redevelopment work of Somnath station has started and is progressing in full swing. The work is being undertaken by Western Railway’s Gati Shakti Unit of Bhavnagar Division. Somnath station is being redeveloped into a modern station at an estimated cost of Rs 157.4 crore and is targeted to be completed by March 2025. The station has been closed for the work since 01.09.2022 and the work of dismantling of existing station building is in progress. Simultaneously, the excavation work for foundation is also in progress.
Somnath station is being designed with architectural ambience which will ensure that the entire station premises present a unified theme through appropriate facade, finishes, colours, materials, textures and overall look and feel. The main station building will have 12 Shikhars at the terrace level which will represent 12 Jyotirlings and also the theme of the façade will be similar to that of Shree Somnath Jyotirling Temple. The design will reflect the various facets of Indian culture and tradition and will be a beautiful blend of ancient & modern architecture.
Somnath railway station is being upgraded & redeveloped into a well-designed station with adequate areas for different amenities & facilities. The plan includes segregated Arrival / Departure Passenger Plazas, Congestion free & conflict-free Entry / Exits in Station Premises, underground parking arrangements, etc. It will have adequate concourse / waiting spaces consisting of passenger amenities & facilities, above the platforms to avoid overcrowding on platforms. The entire station premises will have Wi-Fi coverage. The railway station will be equipped with facilities for Divyangjans, making it 100% Divyang Friendly. The station building will be Green Building with features for efficient use of energy, water and other resources, use of renewable energy, etc. Provision for battery charging facility & operation of battery powered vehicles are also being made. The station will also be equipped with the state-of-the-art safety & security technology consisting of intelligently designed features for better station management.
Somnath is an important pilgrimage site from ancient times on account of being a Triveni Sangam and the first among the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva at the Somnath Temple. There is tremendous development going on to make it a best tourist spot with various tourist attractions including beach development projects being undertaken by Govt. of Gujarat. This new state-of–the-art station building will be an added attraction to this city. It will welcome the passengers, pilgrims & tourists with an airport like ambience with modern facilities & amenities.
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