Come 2019 and the city will boast of a railway station of international standards— the best in the country. Habibganj station will offer almost all passenger amenities one gets at an international airport and perhaps more. There is a good part of the makeover- in-the-making. The railways won’t have to spend a single paisa on the superb station, which will see an expenditure of Rs 100 crore.
Four parcels of land, measuring 13,000 Sq feet towards the east and west side of the station, are leased to the developer, M/s Bansal Construction Ltd — for commercial use.
“Railways opted for PPP (private-public participation) model, because it didn’t have cash, but had enough landholding to monetise. They will lease out 13,000 sq ft of land to the developer for commercial use and the latter, in turn, would modernise passenger amenities at the railway station at the cost of Rs 100 crore,” said Abu Azmi, project in-charge for Bansals.
And as the redevelopment of railway station goes on, some buildings in the existing station would be demolished. New ones will come up, existing foot over-bridge would be considerably widened, elevators and escalators would be installed. There will be provision for subways and ramps. AC VIP lounge, AC waiting and rest rooms, restaurants and eating joints from famous names in food and beverage category, will offer a wide range of dishes. All this will become a reality in now under-construction main station building. This will be complemented by remodelled parking, redone platforms and fully covered foot over-bridge (FOB). All this will transform the station beyond recognition. Arches in the façade will remain untouched, perhaps to remind us of what the station looked like. Already, 40% of the redevelopment work is complete.Enough thought is given to crowd control while factoring in passenger amenities.
During summer and holidays vacations, when passenger traffic is at its peak, footfall at Habibganj goes up to 35,000, triggering a chaos of sorts at the station. Aware of the congestion and chaos as most trains stop here for two minutes, dealing with it was among the priorities of railways when it contemplated the passenger amenities at Habibganj said an official of Indian Railways and Station Development Corporation (IRSDC), on condition of anonymity.