S. Sandeep Kumar
No headway in plans to develop Secunderabad railway station
Development of Secunderabad station a major project involving crores of rupees
Railway Board reportedly holding up the project since it has to finalise many aspects
HYDERABAD: It is close to one year and the promise to develop Secunderabad railway station into a world class railway station by Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee in the railway budget last year is yet to be fulfilled.
As part of the plan, the South Central Railway (SCR) was to hire a consultant to sketch a master plan of the project. SCR issued global tenders on September 26 last, inviting consultants to sketch the master plan and the tenders were to be opened on October 30.
However, the Railway Board extended the deadline for opening the tenders to December 24, citing safety measures. In view of its experiences in finalising the Delhi railway station face-lifting works, the Railway Board wanted to add some safety clauses besides new terms and conditions, SCR spokesperson said explaining reasons behind extending the deadline.
SCR had not received any application till the deadline and the Railway Board further extended the time limit to open tenders for selecting the consultant. The fresh deadline is yet to be announced.
Despite being one of the biggest revenue earners for the Railways, SCR was not given enough credit or sufficient funds to take up new projects. The promise to develop Secunderabad railway station into world class station was even made by former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav in 2008 and yet nothing has been done, says Suburban Train and Bus Travellers Association president A.V. Swamy.
“We hope Ms Banerjee allocates sufficient funds in the budget this year for the project to take off,” Mr. Swamy said.
On the other hand, SCR authorities argue that development of Secunderabad station was a major project involving crores of rupees. The Board is holding up the project since it has to finalise many aspects, including legal and financial etc and it takes much time.
In fact, the SCR General Manager M.V. Jayanth had even written to the Railway Board last month to speed up the works, informs SCR spokesperson.