The much-awaited Anand Vihar railway terminal, which was inaugurated on Saturday by Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee, besides catering to East-bound trains is also being touted as one of the most disabled-friendly railway stations in the country.
To make the terminal disabled-friendly, Samarthyam, a civil society organisation that works for accessible transportation and buildings was specially roped in.
Samarthyam executive director Anjlee Agarwal said: “The area from the entrance to the railways tracks has been tiled with tactile tiles which will aid the visually-impaired. To make the premises accessible, ramps and lifts have also been provided. Subways have been provided to connect the platforms and there are also waiting rooms. Details such as the width of doors have also been looked into.”
“It is necessary to sensitise both the service providers and the public with regard to the needs of the disabled. The facilities at the new terminal in addition to being disabled-friendly will cater to senior citizens and families with young children,” she added.
The first phase of work on the terminal was sanctioned in 2003-04 at a cost of Rs.85 crore and was originally scheduled to be completed in 2007. Work in the first phase includes construction of station building, operational and service area, circulating and parking area. Passenger interface areas such as the booking office, reservation hall, parcel and luggage office have also been provided. Three high-level platforms, two running lines in the coaching yard, two washing lines, three stabling lines, one sick line spur and washable aprons on platform lines have been completed in the first phase. Platforms have also been provided with covered shelters.
The station building covers a 6,000 sq.m. area and has current booking counters with computerised ticketing facility, a booking hall, cloak rooms, operational, commercial and maintenance offices, international signages, state-of-the-art toilets and unreserved ticket system facility. The terminal will have a total operational area of approximately 42 hectares.
The building will have separate arrival and departure areas for speedy entry and exit and will make the station congestion free. The other facilities at the new terminal include subways for easy mobility within the station, waiting halls and cloak rooms.
Modern passenger convenience facilities such as the coach guide systems at platforms, coach indication boards at foot-over bridges, ATM, food plazas, foreign exchange counters, touch screen enquiry systems and water vending machines are expected to be shortly provided. In a bid to be eco-friendly, several trees have been planted in the area to provide a green environment to the station building. A new passenger reservation system is being developed while the parking area is being redesigned for optimum land usage. The inter-State bus terminus and the Delhi Metro railway service which is coming up will provide connectivity with the terminal.
A great deal of passenger traffic at the already existing major railway terminals in the Capital such as the Old Delhi, New Delhi and Hazrat Nizamuddin railway stations has necessitated the need for the new Anand Vihar terminal.
The location of the terminal in the trans-Yamuna area is also expected to decongest road traffic between trans-Yamuna and Delhi as passengers can board trains directly at Anand Vihar rather than travelling by road to board trains from stations located in other parts of the Capital.