he more than 150 years old Delhi Main railway station is all set for a revamp and the Northern Railway is beginning from the basics. As part of the station’s facelift, Northern Railway is going to replace its entire drainage system.
Opened for public way back in 1864, the Delhi Main or Old Delhi railway station is one of the most congested and chaotic stations in the city that caters to more than 300 trains and sees a footfall of more than three lakh each day. Though Northern Railway has managed to completely revamp the New Delhi Railway station, the acute space crunch at the Old Delhi railway station makes any expansion plans almost impossible. However, the Railways promise that after the facelift, the station would provide a passenger experience as hassle-free as that at the New Delhi railway station.
“Drainage is a big problem at the Delhi Main railway station and it is so old that even we don’t know about the system and don’t have a map. That is why we have decided to completely replace the drainage system with a new one,” said Arun Arora, Divisional Railway Manager, Delhi division, Northern Railway.
“We have floated a tender for the work, which would cost Rs. 2.7 crore and expect the work to begin soon,” Mr. Arora said. “Apart from this measure, we would also strengthen cleanliness at this important junction,” he said.
The overhaul of the drainage system is just a part of the entire revamp of the station, the plan for which has been prepared by the Unified Traffic and Transportation Infrastructure (Planning & Engineering) Centre (UTTIPEC). The agency would carry out the facelift of the station on the heavily congested Chandni Chowk side.
Northern Railway has also recently opened a second entry to the Old Delhi railway station from Hamilton Road, on the Kashmere Gate side, providing a two way access to passengers on the lines of the two entries to New Delhi railway station from Paharganj and Ajmeri Gate sides.
“The second entry is now open to passengers and it will have more facilities in the near future. There are no toilets at that side as of yet but we are creating new ones,” Mr. Arora said. “There would also be a multi cuisine restaurant for passengers on the Kashmere Gate side very soon,” he said.
Northern Railway believes that as the second entry and exit point becomes more popular, at least 30 per cent of passenger movement would be from that side, easing the pressure on the entry from the SP Mukherjee Road side near Chandni Chowk.
There will also be a multi cuisine restaurant for passengers on the Kashmere Gate side soon