Kolkata: Century old Howrah station will get a new avatar soon. It is the only station in the state among 20 in the first phase for which redevelopment plans are launched.
Howrah station will get separate arrival and departure areas, a lounge, a parking lot and other passenger amenities as part of a redevelopment programme.
It is the only station in the state among 20 in the first phase for which redevelopment plans were launched by railway minister Suresh Prabhu.
At Howrah station, spread over 69,000sq m and with a daily average footfall of nine lakh, a train often arrives and leaves from the same platform, forcing the two sets of passengers and those with them to converge there.
An Eastern Railway official said they want separate platforms for arrival and departure with separate entry and exit. The flooring and ceiling would also be changed to give the platforms a new look,
The old, noisy fans in the concourse are being replaced with larger and more powerful ones to make summer more bearable.
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.
Five vending machines for sanitary napkins are being set up inside and near the washrooms for women. Incinerators will be placed alongside the machines for easy and scientific disposal. Two such machines have already been installed in the adjoining new complex.
However, Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) has planned to give all roads around the station a mastic asphalt makeover to prevent them from seasonal damage.
“Our plan is to renovate all Howrah station-connecting roads. Work is expected to start from March,” said an official from KMDA’s traffic and transportation section.