Tentative plan presented at architects’ meet

After a lag of nearly six years, Railways are reconsidering a plan to make Thiruvananthapuram Central station a world-class one under the joint initiative of the Union Ministries of Railways and Tourism.

A pre-bid meeting of architects, who are keen on designing the project, was held at the Divisional Railway office at Thycaud here on Monday. At the meeting, chaired by Divisional Railway Manager Rajesh Agrawal, and attended by 18 architects/representatives of architectural firms, and senior officials of the railway division, the tentative master plan requirements and works contemplated were presented.

It was decided that individual architects applying for the project should be registered with the Council of Architecture. If a consortium applies, it should have an architectural wing accredited with the Council of Architecture for a minimum of three years, it was decided at the meeting.

“The deliberations were useful. We decided to hold another pre-bid meeting on January 9,” Mr. Agrawal told The Hindu. At that meeting, Railways will look for further suggestions from the architects on the drawings already prepared. The proposals will be finalised then.

Talks with KSRTC

The Divisional Railway Manager said Railways would go for competitive bidding after the pre-bid meeting. Talks are also on with Transport Department to ensure connectivity from the KSRTC complex coming up at Thampanoor to the railway station at a cost of Rs.5 crore.

In 2007, Railways had decided to invite expression of interest (EOI) to identify those interested in the project. But, the project could not be taken forward.

The proposal then was to shift the intermediate over hauling (IOH) facility near the second entry on the Power House road, five pit lines, and three stabling lines on the station premises and use the land for setting up the new complex. The IOH facility was to be shifted to the land owned by Railways at Nemom. The Railways own 10.52 hectares of land in Nemom.

Thiruvananthapuram Central is the largest railway station in the State. The station is among the 16 major railway stations selected for the revamp. The then Union Minister for Railways Lalu Prasad had laid the foundation stone for the expansion and modernisation of the station in December 2006.