The Ministry of Railways has released pictures of the proposed ultra modern design of Kollam Junction. This is part of an ambitious project to upgrade and modernise railway stations across the country. Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had told the Parliament last month that 52 stations have been chosen till now for improvement under this programme.
The proposed station re-development essentially attempts to provide in the station all the facilities found in an international airport. The design will adhere to modern architecture standards.
"Pillars of Transformation: A glimpse of the proposed design of the to-be redeveloped Kollam Junction Railway Station in Kerala," is what the Ministry of Railways tweeted while releasing the computer-generated images.
The pictures of the proposed Kollam Junction Railway Station boasts a classical design with tall majestic, widely-spaced columns that are devoid of Corinthian intricacy, yet elegant. It has wide parking spaces, green tree-rimmed islands, and pillared entry and exit points, for both vehicles and pedestrians.
The proposed interiors would be like in airports, with well-designed amenities like lounges, recreation areas, waiting areas, seating arrangement, shopping areas, restaurants/cafeterias, tapped potable drinking water points, restrooms, WiFi, ATMs, and medical facilities. More than 100 CCTV cameras will also be installed.
The re-developed Kollam Station is expected to be inaugurated in December 2023. The new design was approved by the Southern Railway in January 2022.
Besides Kollam, the Ministry of Railways has by now released the proposed designs of 15 railway stations. The modernisation of two - Habibganj Railway Station in Madhya Pradesh and Gandhinagar Railway Station in Gujarat - have already been completed. In fact, the The Habibganj railway station in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, the first 'world-class station' in the country, was awarded with GEM 5 star rating in GEM Sustainability Certification by ASSOCHAM for Green, sustainable design and eco-friendly project.
The Ministry will release the proposed designs at regular intervals. Each station will have a unique design. Habibganj, for instance, has a curved glass roof. The Gandhinagar station has a five-star hotel above the rail tracks. The proposed design for Chandigarh station looks like a collection of geometric structures arranged around wide open tree-filled spaces.
Indian Railway Station Development Corporation (IRSDC) is functioning as the nodal agency for the redevelopment of railway stations. The idea is to develop the stations using railway land so that there would be no additional cost for land acquisition. The Ministry of Railways will transfer spare railway land and air space near the station directly to the IRSDC for station development, which it can employ to develop commercial and residential spaces.
The IRSDC has also been asked to set up its own fund by raising money from the market so that its activities do not impact the finances of the Ministry of Railways. The Ministry has still not made it clear whether it will stand guarantee for such projects.