PM to lay foundation stone for re-development of 500 Rly Stns including Jammu, Udhampur

Will have world-class facilities, resemble like airports
*Rs 20,000 cr provision kept by Railways Ministry

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, Aug 2: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will formally lay foundation stone for re-development of 500 Railway Stations across the country at the cost of Rs 20,000 crore including Udhampur and Jammu in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, virtually, on August 6.
“All these Railway Stations will be developed as world-class stations with State-of-the-Art facilities and will be no less than the Airports,” official sources told the Excelsior.
While the Prime Minister will lay foundation stone of Railway Stations virtually from New Delhi, the ceremony will be attended at Udhampur by Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Dr Jitendra Singh and Jugal Kishore Sharma, Lok Sabha member at Jammu besides senior officers of the Railways.
The redeveloped Railway Stations will have State-of-the-Art facilities like multiple entrance gates, platforms, Escalators, lifts, facilities for specially abled persons, connectivity with most of the States/Union Territories, restaurants, cyber cafes, Wi-Fi, help centres for senior citizens etc.
“A total provision of Rs 20,000 crore has been kept for redevelopment of 500 Railway Stations,” the sources said, adding a fixed amount has been earmarked for the Railway Stations which will be made world-class stations in the coming years.
Jammu and Udhampur receive large number of trains from different States/Union Territories carrying large number of pilgrims to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji cave shrine besides Kashmir-bound tourists as the Valley is yet to be connected by the train.
A number of trains from different States and UTs have also been reaching directly to Katra, the base camp of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji shrine. However, Katra already has latest facilities required for a Railway Station.
Most of the Railway Stations constructed/or being constructed on Katra-Baramulla Railway Line are already modern Stations, the sources said, adding the Central Government is quite confident that train will reach Kashmir valley either by the end of this year or start of next year.
“In any case, the train will reach Kashmir before March next,” they said, adding the Railways Ministry has already started preparations like deployment of staff and working out lists of trains which will reach the Valley from different parts of the country.
Some of the trains are likely to be extended to Baramulla from Jammu, Udhampur and Katra Railway Stations while others will be altogether new trains including one exclusive Vande Bharat from New Delhi to Baramulla.
“Efforts will be to connect Kashmir with Kanyakumari,” the sources said.
They said that at many Railway Stations, the Union Ministers, Members of Parliament and senior officers of the Railways will attend the ceremony.
Sources said that the Amrit Bharat Station Scheme involves preparation of Master Plans and their implementation in phases to improve the amenities at the stations like improvement of station access, circulating areas, waiting halls, toilets, lift and escalators besides cleanliness, free wifi, kiosks for local products under the ‘One Station One Product” scheme etc.
The massive station redevelopment programme also envisaged improvement of building, integrating the station with both sides of the city, multimodal integration and environment friendly solutions.
Some of the noted Railway Stations across the country whose foundation stone will also be laid by the Prime Minister on August 6 include Prayagraj, Vijaynagaram, Delhi Cantonment, Narela (Delhi) and Aurangabad.
Officials said considering the scale of the projects and their expansion across the country, the Railway Ministry will hold simultaneous events at all the 500 locations. They added one of the major focus will be on holding different competitions among school students. The railways estimates the students’ participation to cross two lakh on that day.