Saturday, December 19, 2009

First World Class Railway Terminal for Delhi

New Terminal will help to ease traffic in overcrowded Delhi Stations

Railway Minister promises more before 2010 Commonwealth Games

Delhi got its first railway terminal with Union railway minister Mamta Banerjee flagging off the Lucknow Winter Special from the swanky Anand Vihar station on Saturday.

Rakesh Chopra, railway board (engineering), said the terminal was the railways’ first attempt to create a world-class facility. With a separate parcel loading facility, two escalators and six lifts, the station will have a special heritage gallery and custom-made subways which can be used by physically-challenged passengers.

Banerjee stressed on the need to decongest stations.’ A huge number of trains enter Delhi and this terminal will help in easing traffic,’’ she said. The minister said the terminal was ‘‘a New Year gift’’ to Delhiites and designed keeping in mind the Games. ‘‘For all those who reside on this side of the Yamuna, it is time to proclaim that you too own a modern railway station. Anand Vihar, being strategically located, will serve the needs of NCR,’’ Banerjee said.

The minister said a special Commonwealth Express will be flagged off which will travel across the country to popularize the sporting event. ‘‘The Vision 2020 plan for Delhi includes completion of two dedicated freight corridors and construction of an auto hub on a railway land near the capital.’ Delhi has seen only 10% of our work. The remaining 90% will be completed before the Commonwealth Games,’’ Banerjee said.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit thanked Banerjee for the terminal.’ It was Banerjee who was instrumental in passing the Metro project for Delhi in her earlier stint as railway minister. This new terminal will be of immense help to the 10 lakh people coming to the capital each day since the trains will take load off road traffic. The Anand Vihar terminal is also another feather in our cap. After the Metro, the rest of Delhi is envying people residing in the east.

Banerjee also flagged off a winter special train to Lucknow from Anand Vihar and a 15-coach EMU from Delhi to Panipat (through remote control). The second ladies’ special train to Ghaziabad was also flagged off. ‘‘Since the UPA chairperson, the President, the speaker and now even the leader of opposition is a woman, we may soon need a male special train for commuters,” Banerjee said.