ROURKELA: When Rourkela was chosen as the co-host for FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup, it was believed the city’s railway station will be given a much-needed facelift for the event.However, with only a few days to go for the event, nothing has changed at the railway station. Even as the road to the station has been widened, encroachment by roadside vendors remains a pertinent issue.
The station under Chakradharpur division is one of the most significant and revenue generating ones of South Eastern Railway (SER). Located on the busy Howrah-Mumbai arm of the golden quadrilateral of Indian railways, little has been done to give the station a fresh look ahead of the world cup.
“This speak volumes of the callous approach of the railways. It proves the railways takes no pride in the showpiece event which is a matter of prestige for host state Odisha and the country, rued social activist Ved Prakash Tiwari. He said some development activities are underway on the station premises. However, no significant work has been done to improve the overall look of one of the major railway stations.
Visitors and hockey enthusiasts from across the country are likely to arrive at the station during the event. Tiwari lamented even as Rourkela comes under the parliamentary constituency of incumbent Sundargarh MP and former union minister Jual Oram, nothing visible has been done by railway authorities to give the station a new look.
During his visit to the railway station on July 10 last year, Railway Board chairman and CEO VK Tripathi had said several projects were underway in view of the world and added if needed more projects could be sanctioned. Sources said as of now construction of platform no 6 along with an end-to-end foot over bridge (FOB) with ramp and some other activities on the newly-constructed second entrance on northern side of the station are underway. Over the past years three lifts and two escalators have been added to the station building. Yet, the main entrance on the southern side has seen no positive changes yet.
There are plans for development of the circulating areas with beautification and shifting of the present parking lot, but the same have apparently been postponed.While SER’s area railway manager RK Mohanty could not be reached for comments on the matter, Rourkela Municipal Corporation commissioner Subhankar Mohapatra said he cannot comment on railways. He said encroachment issues outside the station would be sorted out soon.