Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to virtually lay the foundation stone for the redevelopment of 508 railway stations across India on August 6. The ambitious project, executed under the Amrit Bharat Scheme, aims to enhance passenger amenities and improve railway infrastructure. With an estimated cost of ₹24,470 crore, the redevelopment work is a significant step towards modernizing the railway system.
Government’s Focus on Passenger Amenities
The government places a strong emphasis on improving passenger amenities, and Prime Minister Modi is personally overseeing the progress of the Railways. His valuable inputs have been instrumental in designing these revamped stations, ensuring a seamless and comfortable experience for travelers.
Amrit Bharat Scheme: 508 Stations Selected for Redevelopment
Out of a total of 1,309 stations, 508 have been chosen for the initial phase of redevelopment under the Amrit Bharat Scheme. These stations are located in 10 states: Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, and Tamil Nadu. The ongoing construction work at 24 stations in these states carries a budget of ₹11,136 crore.
Key Stations and Their Redevelopment Costs
Among the 24 stations currently undergoing revamp, some have received substantial allocations. The iconic Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja Terminus, a UNESCO world heritage site, has been allocated ₹1,813 crore for redevelopment. Similarly, Gujarat’s Surat station is receiving a ₹980 crore facelift, while Tamil Nadu’s Chennai Egmore station’s development cost is estimated at ₹842 crore.
Challenges in Redevelopment
Revamping some of these stations has presented complex challenges. Around 25% to 30% of stations in the scheme are facing difficulties in the redevelopment process. For instance, Kerala’s Ernakulam station, with a budget of ₹445 crore, faces constraints due to constructions on both sides of the tracks, leaving limited space for expansion. The Sabarmati station in Gujarat, with an estimated cost of ₹335 crore, requires multi-modal transport connectivity, as it plays a crucial role in the upcoming bullet train project.
Innovations in Station Design
To enhance passenger experience, the redevelopment scheme proposes wider rooftop plazas as an alternative to conventional foot over bridges. These spacious areas will provide passengers with comfortable waiting zones, allowing them to rest and recuperate while awaiting their trains.