Mega Consortia to develop 21 Railway Stations in Kerala

Kerala nominates five partners for Indian Railways’ initiative for redevelopment of 500 world-class stations by 2018

thiruvananthapuram-railway-stationThiruvananthapuram: The State is to have a major say in the redevelopment of 21 railway stations with the government nominating five partners for the initiative of Railways.

Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL), Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) and the Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society based in Madapally, Kozhikode, and Technopark are the partners for the project.

Secretary, Transport, has also been nominated as the coordinating officer for the initiative that will involve liaison between Railways, the government, and the partners, sources told. The government has notified the partners and the coordinating officer.

The 21 stations in the State figure among the 400 identified by Railways for upgrade to world-class stations by leveraging the real estate potential and airspace in and around the stations.

Railways have told the government that its aim is to transform the stations into iconic structures reflecting the culture and character of the cities and to provide state-of-the-art facilities to the travelling public and residents of these cities. The Union government is to spend nearly Rs.100 crore for the development of the 400 railway stations that were announced in the Railway Budget.

60 km of track replaced

Sixty km of railway track has been replaced in the Thiruvanthapuram railway division till date this year compared to the 58 km of track replaced last year, Divisional Railway Manager Prakash Butani said on Wednesday.

Presiding over the 66th Divisional Railway Users’ Consultative Committee (DRUCC) meeting at the divisional headquarters here, Mr. Butani reiterated Railways’ commitment to safety in train operations in the State. As high priority is given to track maintenance work, he said punctuality of trains is being affected.

The Divisional Railway Manager said on-board cleanliness of trains will be started progressively within two months. The earlier attempts to award cleaning contracts did not succeed owing to recent changes in labour rates.

Railways will focus on work in close association with civil society groups such as Kudumbasree to enhance passenger service in parking and waiting hall management. Air-conditioned paid waiting hall in association with Kudumbasree is well appreciated at Ernakulam Junction and Ernakulam Town and this model will be tried at Kollam and Thrissur shortly. Free Wi-Fi service at Kollam will be commissioned shortly and the new escalator at Chengannur and Nagercoil stations will be commissioned within a month.