The Old Delhi railway station, with a daily footfall of about two lakh passengers and handling about 252 trains daily, is likely to see a major facelift soon, as it will be developed into a world-class heritage station in the coming years. The station is the oldest in the national capital.
On the lines of “Digital India”, the Old Delhi railway station will soon see the installation of the proposed Railway Display Network along its station premises. This will transform the look and feel of the station as well as provide relevant information to passengers. Large video walls will be installed across the station and would disseminate real-time train information, e.g. train arrivals, departure and other passenger associated services information, disaster management messages, and revenue generation contents like advertisements and social messages like Beti Bachao, Swachh Bharat, Pulse Polio etc. Tourist information regarding places of interest, Department of Tourism Assistance Centre, Government of India approved tour operators, approved taxis and other tourist amenities such as hotels, lodges, tours, etc., along with highlights of the railways, would also be displayed. Zee Media Corporation Limited, along with its consortium partners SITI Cable Network Ltd and Videowall India Pvt Ltd, has been entrusted with the job of installation of the proposed Railway Display Network in Delhi in the next two months.
Apart from this, all the five railway stations in Delhi will also be provided with Wi-fi hotspots across the platforms to enable passengers access Internet facilities on their smartphones and help them get real-time railway information on their devices. Passengers will also be able to experience in-station entertainment facilities while waiting for their trains.
Keeping in mind the age of the Old Delhi railway station and heavy congestion around the area, Arun Arora, Divisional Railway Manager, Delhi Division, has written to the Chief Secretary of Delhi and the Delhi Commissioner of Police, apprising them of the problems that the Old Delhi railway station faces in terms of serious congestion, narrow approach roads, unauthorised bazaars and the poor law and order situation around the station.
Proposals for the construction of two new grade separated exclusive entry to the Old Delhi railway station from both the S.P. Mukherjee Road as well as from the Zorawar Singh Marg have been made to the PWD department of the Delhi government. These would help streamline traffic bound for the station directly into the station premises, bypassing the heavy traffic areas, thus providing passengers with much relief.
Arun Arora said: “Old Delhi is one of the oldest stations in Delhi. It is about 100 years old and needs to be redeveloped as a world-class heritage station for which the Railways and the Delhi government should work on a conceptualised plan. The Railways and the Delhi Police should also work in a coordinated manner to streamline the flow of traffic near the stations by providing police manpower and ensuring a proper law and order situation.”
Renovation of the station building, dormitories, drainage system in the station and along the tracks, new platform shelters and comfortable passage for “Divyang” (differently-abled) are also underway.
Also planned is the installation of CCTV cameras with centralised control room, escalators, an array of X-ray baggage scanners and door frame metal detectors for enhanced security. Construction of a world-class public toilet system, water vending machines, improving the aesthetics of the building, among other works, would be undertaken to make the station world class. The estimated cost for the development of the station is about Rs 565 crore.
“The Old Delhi station would be developed on the lines of facilities on a modern airport. A road overbridge system, restaurants on both sides of the entry, redevelopment of the old building, replacement of corroded pipes, have also been planned. The railways is working towards providing world-class facilities,” Arora added.