Railways to upgrade 22 stations to world standard by 2012

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Patna, May 16 (UNI) As many as 22 railway stations across India will be upgraded to 'world standard' within the next three to four years at a whopping cost of over Rs 20,000 crores under public-private partnership.

Official sources here today informed that the entire project has been divided into two parts under which ten major stations, including New Delhi, Howrah, Patna, Chennai, Secundrabad and the Victoria Terminus in Mumbai, would first be upgraded to top international standard in terms of providing world class facilities and cleanliness by 2010.

The work for the remaining 12 stations would be taken up in the second phase and would complete by 2012.

Under the time-bound programme, the sources said, each selected station would be transformed into most modern and best railway stations like those in Europe, Japan and the US.

Apart from giving a complete facelift to the entire station area, steps would be taken to improve the ticket booking facilities as well as the passengers comfort round the clock, the sources informed.

Moreover, to give each station a look like that of an European or American airport, all offices including those of the Station Managers, would be shifted from the platforms at ground floor level to upper floors along with rest rooms, all of which would be air conditioned and have modern gadgets.

Special intiative would also be taken to ensure cleanliness not only on platforms but also in the entire station complex, the sources said adding that efforts were also being made to set up modern food joints at every platform round the clock.

About plan to transform Patna junction, one of the busiest in eastern India, the sources said a Hong Kong based consultant had already been asked to provide necessary technical expertise towards upgrading the station to world standard.

A high-level team had already visited Patna and hold a meeting with senior East Central Railway (ECR) officials to discuss on various development related issues of the junction as a world class station by 2010, the sources said adding that the cost for this project under public-private partnership had been estimated at about Rs 1,000 crores.

UNI ABA PP/src1542

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