J Balaji

Work nearing completion; the number to go up from 6 to 8

Divisional Deputy Chief Engineer supervising the work

ECoR zonal headquarters has sanctioned funds

VISAKHAPATNAM: Visakhapatnam Railway Station will have the pride of having the highest number of railway platforms in the entire East Coast Railway (ECoR) zone and north coastal Andhra Pradesh as the work on laying two additional platforms is nearing completion and it is likely to be ready by month end. With this the number of platforms here will go up to eight from the present six.

The work, being carried out under the supervision of Divisional Deputy Chief Engineer Victor Joseph, costs Rs.1 crore to the Railways and it includes construction of side walls, filling up of the portion with earth, top flooring and constructing connecting staircases to the central foot over bridge (FOB) that connects all the platforms. It may be recalled that only in November 2006 the city station was added with another platform (No.6).

Third in State

Visakhapatnam can also boast of having the highest number of platforms in Andhra Pradesh after Secunderabad and Vijayawada (having 10 platforms each). Interestingly all its platforms could now accommodate longer trains, i.e. trains with rakes having 24 coaches.

Sources said the new platform work, which began early this year, might have been completed three months ago but for the continuous heavy rain due to cyclonic developments and delay in finalising tender. While the ECoR zonal headquarters has sanctioned funds for the platforms laying work, rearrangement of railway lines for the platforms and over head electrical work for the locomotives, other amenities like laying of roof for 150 metres, construction of toilets, water facilities, chairs for passengers, stalls, electrical work inside the platforms and public address system would be carried out with the funds provided by the Waltair Railway Division. This work would cost another Rs. 1 crore.

The new platforms would come up in the island portion available between the existing platforms five and six and would be christened as platform six and seven and the existing platform six would become eight. The 600-metre-long platforms have a width of 10.5 metres. Thanks to the opening of three new platforms in one year, the platform capacity of the city station has increased by 60 per cent which means less waiting time for the trains for want of platforms.