Design for redevelopment of Visakhapatnam Railway Station should contain local landmark, say rail users

The design proposed by the Rail Land Development Authority for redevelopment of Visakhapatnam Railway Station.

The design proposed by the Rail Land Development Authority for redevelopment of Visakhapatnam Railway Station. | Photo Credit: BY ARRANGEMENT

The proposed design for redevelopment of Visakhapatnam Railway Station, an A-1 category station, presently under the purview of East Coast Railway (E Co R), and is destined to come under the jurisdiction of the Visakhapatnam-headquartered South Coast Railway (S Co R) Zone, is drawing flak from rail activists.

The Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) came out with a Request For Proposal (RFP) for upgradation of Visakhapatnam Railway Station on EPC (Engineering Procurement and Construction) model at an estimated cost of ₹393 crore.

“It is better to take up redevelopment of Visakhapatnam station after the S Co R Zone is established. It will ensure development of the station, based on the aspirations of the people of the region. Alternatively, a few designs should be placed before the people and based on their opinions, the design can be selected,” said BJP State Council Member N. Gajapathi Rao, who is also a former Member of Zonal Railway Users Consultative Committee (ZRUCC), Bhubaneswar.

 The rail activists took to Twitter to deplore the model of the station building. Muralikrishna tweeted: “Sir, planning airport like railway stations in other 2-tiers and old outdated designs for VSKP? If this is final then don’t waste money on this. Increase to 10-12 platforms and lay 3 rd & 4 th line from GPT to VSKP station. Start #SCoR first, how many years for DPR to approve?”

Aditya Sharma tweeted: “This design in no way represents the heritage of the place. It’s so generic. No reference to Simhachalam temple or the beaches, Port or Steel Plant. Pathetic design.”

“What is the process followed for selection of the design? Who are all the stakeholders involved? Ayyagaru tweeted.

The Union government had announced the formation of a new railway zone with headquarters in Visakhapatnam before the 2019 general elections.

When the redevelopment of Visakhapatnam station was first mooted in 2017, the then Divisional Railway Manager Chandralekha Mukherjee had assured that the redevelopment would not come in the way of construction of additional platforms.

The redevelopment plan envisages developing the railway stations to the world-class standards by leveraging the valuable land available in and around railway stations. The redevelopment project would be undertaken by the selected developer.

All these show that rail users from the region are more interested in early operationalisation of S Co R, construction of additional platforms and construction of the third line, for which the survey was already completed. They are also keen on the station building reflecting some landmark of the city like the Dolphin’s Nose Hill or the Simhachalam temple.

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Printable version | Aug 1, 2022 12:59:41 am |