Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways, Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs and Food & Public Distribution, Government of India inaugurated 2nd Foot Over Bridge at Santragachi, Freight Terminal at Sankrail (Phase-I) & Vivekananda Meditation Centre at Howrah and dedicated to the Nation an Executive Lounge at Sealdah station, 2 Escalators at Sealdah station, 2 lifts at Sealdah station & Premium Lounge at Kolkata station, Integrated Security System at Barddhaman Station, Foot Over Bridge at Jhamatpur Baharan and Nimo stations, Extension of platform shed at Balagarh and Guptipara Stations and Escalator at Barddhaman, Tarkeswar and Nabadwip Dham stations through video conferencing today. The other dignitaries were also present at the event site.
Speaking on the occasion, Goyal expressed his condolences for the tragic incident that took place at Nimtita station. He wished a speedy recovery of the injured in this tragic incident. He said that many projects have been inaugurated today, especially the Sankrail freight terminal which has eight full electrified lines. The Terminal will provide the facility of quick freight movement from industrial areas around Sankrail. New elevators, escalators at the busy Sealdah station will provide facilities to the passengers. A new Foot Overbridge at Santragachi will connect 06 platforms, it will facilitate the passengers. Executive Lounge in Sealdah and Premium Lounge in Kolkata is inaugurated, it shows Railways’ commitment to offering the best services to our passengers.
The Minister also added that Today, all 8500 stations in the country are clean today. All Station Masters have entrusted the responsibility to ensure that the stations remain clean and tidy. Today, all trains are cleaned by automatic washing plants. Customers have appreciated the cleanliness in the trains and station premises and the complaints related to cleanliness have reduced. Electrification of Railways is being done across the country and by the year 2030, Indian Railways would be the first Railway in the world to be pollution-free.
Santragachi station is one of the busiest stations in the Howrah-Kharagpur section. It is being developed with all modern amenities. The 2nd Foot Over Bridge at Santragachi constructed at a cost of Rs. 20 crores are 12 metres wide and 166 metre long connecting platforms no. 1 to 6 of Santragachi Station. This facility will improve and ease the dispersal and mobility of incoming and outgoing passengers at Santragachi Station.
Sankrail Freight Terminal (Phase-I) has been developed with modern facilities for freight rake handling to ensure faster turnaround of rakes for speedy transportation of inward/outward consignments serving major industries like iron and steel, textile, garments, plastic, food and beverages, foundries, cement etc. This Freight Terminal will serve around 40 sq. km. industrial belt spreading over Kolkata and Howrah in West Bengal. The freight terminal with eight full-lengths electrified lines with wharf facilities has been constructed at a cost of Rs. 109 Crores.
With a view to reduce stress & anxiety and to re-direct the thoughts to calm the human minds, Vivekananda Meditation Centre at Howrah has been constructed at a cost of Rs.65 lakhs of which 30 Lakhs has been arranged from the MPLAD fund of Hon’ble MP Sri Pradip Bhattacharya. The total built-up area of this centre is 3528 sqft. and the meditation hall area is 2100 sqft. It has a meditation capacity of 70 persons.
Executive Lounge at Sealdah Station is another novel initiative of Railways to provide more comfort for passengers. The fully air-conditioned Executive Lounge has been constructed on the first floor of Sealdah station covering an area of 2000 sq ft and is provided with a separate capsule lift for easy access. Not only the passengers but also other people coming to Sealdah station for seeing off or receiving their dear ones will get the opportunity of enjoying a comfortable stay on payment of nominal charges.
In order to facilitate commuters visiting Sealdah station, two escalators have been provided at Sealdah station at a cost of ₹1.19 crores. The escalator facility would be immensely beneficial for the passengers with heavy luggage and senior citizens, Divyang persons and ladies. Both the escalators are capable of carrying 9000 persons per hour.
Two lifts are provided at Sealdah station near South Booking Office at a cost of Rs. 34 lakhs. Each of these lifts is capable of carrying 10 passengers at a time and it will facilitate passengers’ especially senior citizens, Divyang persons and Ladies to access Reservation Counters and Rest Houses.
In an endeavour to provide world-class facilities for Railway passengers, a fully air-conditioned premium waiting lounge has been set up at Kolkata station. It will facilitate passengers for spending quality time while waiting for trains. This has been developed at platform No.1 of Kolkata station at a cost of ₹85 lakhs on a covered area of 2000 sq. ft. It has a wide range of facilities available on normal charges like recliner, saloon, spa, game zone & availability of beverages such as tea & snacks. It will enrich the journey experience for both the domestic and international passengers at Kolkata Station. This premium lounge at Kolkata station has been constructed through Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) Model for better maintenance and efficient execution of services.
In order to augment the security of passengers & railway property, an Integrated Security System has been commissioned at Barddhaman station. This will strengthen security checking at all entry/exit gates, frisking of passengers through Hand Held Metal Detector (HHMD), screening of passenger luggage through Luggage Scanner Machine (LSM) and Door Framed Metal Detector screening etc. The total cost incurred to complete the Integrated Security System Work is Rs. 2.3 crores. Commissioning of this system will ensure better surveillance through CCTV Control Rooms and enable the Railway Protection Force to discharge their duties and responsibilities in an organized manner.
Foot Overbridges at Jhamatpur-Baharan in Bandel-Katwa-Azimganj section and at Nimo station in Howrah-Barddhaman Main Line section of Howrah Division in Eastern Railway has been constructed at a cost of Rs. 92 lakhs and Rs. 1.2 crores respectively. The construction of FOBs will facilitate commuters to change platforms with ease at both stations.
For the sake of the convenience of commuters, platform sheds have been extended at Balagarh and Guptipara stations in the Bandel-Katwa-Azimganj section of the Eastern Railway. The extended platform shed at Guptipara is 32 metres long & 7 metres wide and the cost incurred is Rs. 28 lakhs. The extended platform shed at Balagarh is 16 metres long & 7 metres wide and the cost incurred is Rs. 14 lakhs.
In order to facilitate commuters visiting Barddhaman, Tarakeswar and Nabadwip Dham stations of Eastern Railway, escalators have been provided at these stations at a cost of Rs. 91 lakhs each. The escalator facility would be immensely beneficial for the passengers with heavy luggage and senior citizens, differently-abled persons, ladies etc.