VISAKHAPATNAM: A world class and modern railway station building will be constructed under the redevelopment of the Visakhapatnam railway station for which Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone on Saturday.
Speaking to mediapersons on Monday, Divisional Railway Manager Anup Tripathy said the Rs 456 crore project will be completed within 36 months and Braithwaite has been given the contract under EPC basis. Eight buildings, including commercial spaces, with modern infrastructure facilities will be constructed under the project. They include two shopping malls with passenger amenities and hospitality in one floor.
The focus will be on passenger safety, comfort and convenience. There will be 30 escalators against the present eight and 18 lifts have been proposed under the redevelopment project. A multi-level parking facility and a surface parking facility will be provided. Besides landscaping and greens will also be developed. Efforts will be made to complete the project even before the scheduled period of 36 months so as to minimise inconvenience caused to passengers. There will be unidirectional passenger flow due to segregation of arrival and departure.
He said Vande Bharat Express will be introduced from Visakhapatnam within two months and it will be operated from Visakhapatnam to either Tirupati or Vijayawada. A direct train from Visakhapatnam to Varanasi will also be introduced soon. The existing Sambalpur-Varanasi Express may be extended to Visakhapatnam. A direct train from Vizag to Bengaluru is likely to be introduced, he said.
As part of the redevelopment plan, the DRM said they proposed to include two more rail lines and two platforms and they are under active consideration of officials. Simhachalam, Marripalem Halt, Pendurthi, Chipurupalli and Araku are being developed as model stations. In all, 17 pairs of trains of Waltair division have been converted into LHB rakes. At present, 27 rakes are operated as LHB trains from Visakhapatnam out of 49 trains. Other trains will also be converted into LHB rakes in a phased manner, he highlighted.
Sanction letter has been given for the South Coast Railway headquarters building on 13 acres of land in Wireless Colony at in Visakhapatnam. Tenders have been invited for the construction of the building with all amenities at a cost of `106 crore. The DPR of the zone mainly related to redistribution of employees has been pending with the Railway Board.
Eight acres of land out of 13 acres is earmarked for multi-storied zonal headquarters office complex having 4,000-4,500 sqm plinth area on each floor. Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has sought modifications in designs submitted for the zone building. The State government is yet to transfer 53 acres to railways, the DRM explained.