New Delhi: Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal recommended forming inter-departmental committees to coordinate the implementation of the New Delhi railway station redevelopment project earlier this week.
Baijal Monday chaired the second meeting of the apex committee to oversee and facilitate the revamp of the New Delhi railway station, and held detailed deliberations with all stakeholders, including Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Dev.
Chaired the 02nd meeting of the Apex Committee to oversee & facilitate the “Redevelopment of New Delhi Railway Station” under the National TOD Policy, the first of its kind in PPP mode with @amitabhk87 CEO, @NITIAyog; CS, Delhi; VC, DDA; VC, RLDA; MD, DMRC, Commissioner DMCs, pic.twitter.com/343Am2M0JM
— LG Delhi (@LtGovDelhi) January 18, 2021
Baijal emphasised on ensuring adequate rest rooms for passengers, maximum zero waste toilets, incorporation of vertical green development in the design of the project as well as use of only recycled water for all non-potable purposes.
The New Delhi railway station is being redeveloped on the public-private-partnership mode and the Rail Land Development Development Authority (RLDA), a statutory body under the Ministry of Railways, is undertaking the project.
The project will attract foreign investors as well, and is expected to incur a capital expenditure of over Rs 4,800 crore.
It is the largest and second busiest station in the country and handles approximately 4,50,000 passengers daily and about 160-170 million passengers annually.
ThePrint explains what the project will entail and why it is being called a first-of-its-kind initiative in the country.
Improved infrastructure, passenger experience
Officials who attended the review meeting Monday told ThePrint that the railway station will get a makeover so as to enhance the passenger experience, and improve infrastructure and modern amenities.
According to the powerpoint presentation carrying details of the project, accessed by ThePrint, the railway station will get dome-shaped terminal buildings that will have two arrival and two departure areas at the concourse.
The redevelopment plan also has provisions for two multimodal transport hubs on each side of the station along with a pedestrian boulevard with high street shopping, spaces for offices and other commercial activities.
The project also aims to develop railway quarters as well as the necessary infrastructure for ancillary railway works. This will also include signal-free routes for vehicular traffic and pedestrian-friendly improvements in order to decongest one of the most congested parts of the national capital.
The height of the station will be increased to 7 metres, twin towers, each of which will be 40 metres high, will be constructed, besides a hangar for trains, and, importantly, a passengers’ lounge similar to the airport, stated the presentation.
The project will also have an underground parking for 2,000 vehicles and 40 buses in addition to a commercial area.
What is the National Transit Oriented Development Policy?
The redevelopment of the New Delhi railway station will be done under the National Transit Oriented Development Policy, which is focused on development around a transit mode or corridor to facilitate ease of access to transit facilities.
The policy was approved by the L-G in his capacity as the chairman of the Delhi Development Authority in September 2019.
Under this policy, residential, commercial, civic or institutional establishments are proposed to be located in close proximity to allow the local community access to facilities like plazas, shared parks and public transport.
The policy also seeks to enable walking, cycling and the use of public transportation over personal modes of transport.
Thus, keeping in line with the policy, multimodal transit hubs have been proposed at Ajmeri and Paharhanj access points or gates of the station, according to the presentation.
These will be replete with bus bays for 51 and 40 buses, respectively, and walkaways for direct connectivity to the railway station as well as metro stations in the vicinity.
“The idea is to ensure redistribution of station-bound traffic,” said a senior government official, who attended the meeting Monday.
“Charging facilities will be provided on all floors of the parking for e-vehicles,” he added.
Besides this, the presentation also mentioned an underground APM or Automated People Mover to encourage use of public transport. The APM with a travelator on both sides, walkways with sitting spaces for commuters is also part of the project.
The pre-bid meeting for the project was held in September 2020, which saw participation from major private players such as GMR, Adani Group, JKB Infra, Anchorage, and Arabian Construction Company, said officials in the Delhi government.
The L-G chaired the first meeting in this regard in December last year.
Projects aims to prioritise movement of people over vehicles
The project adopts the strategy of assigning priority to the movement of people and not vehicles.
Under this, a road infrastructure proposal for capacity augmentation, and dedicated entry and exit to and from the station, has been included.
In this regard, it also suggests widening of the Panchkuian Road, Chelmsford Road, Bhavbhuti Marg and Minto Road Railway Bridge.
About four entry ramps on Basant Lane, Chelmsford Road, DDU Marg and near the RUB (road under bridge) on Minto Road, and five exit ramps on Bhavbhuti Marg, JLN Marg, Minto Road, Chelmsford Road and D.B. Gupta Road has been proposed, according to the presentation.
The project also aims to develop an entire ecosystem around a railway station.
“Locations near railway stations used to lose their premium value. We hope to change this through the redevelopment project when we develop the entire ecosystem near a railway station,” said a senior official of the RLDA.
“There is also an urgent need to speed up NOCs (No Objection Certificates) from local authorities and state government, for faster recovery of the real estate market.”
This will not just be beneficial for the passengers, but also create opportunities to develop the surrounding areas by the local authorities to create value for all the stakeholders, he added.