Proposed exercise yet to take off even after five years
It's been close to five years but the much-hyped proposal to develop Secunderabad railway station into a world-class facility is yet to take off.
Former Railway Ministers Lalu Prasad Yadav and Mamata Banerjee announced about this plan in their Railway Budgets in 2008 and 2009 but since then things have been moving at a snail's pace for the project.
As part of the proposal, the railway authorities wanted to go for vertical development of the station by constructing platforms on different floors. There were plans to have malls, restaurants and other passenger facilities such as booking offices, waiting halls on different floors and each floor connected with escalators.
All these plans were disclosed by former Railway Board Chairman K.C. Jena during inspection at the station in September 2008. He had informed that the project would be taken up under Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis.
To commence the project, authorities were to hire architect and consultant to prepare a master plan and monitor the project. The consultant is expected to prepare a comprehensive plan, including the estimated project cost, technical feasibility, real estate scenario, future expansions and other infrastructure recommendations.
Tenders were invited to finalise the architect and consultant in the year 2010 and seven applicants responded. But all of them failed to satisfy the eligibility norms and hence fresh tenders were invited again early this year, claimed said the South Central Railway (SCR) spokesperson.
“A few applications are received and a team of three senior officers is evaluating them. Once this is completed, authorities will take a call on appointing the consultant,” said the spokesperson.