Saturday, May 17, 2008

Hong Kong firm to develop Patna Jn

PATNA: A Hong Kong-based consultant Aedas has been appointed as a technical expert for developing Patna Junction as a world class station.

Aedas director Waren Agostein recently held a high-level meeting with East Central Railway (ECR) GM Girish Bhatnagar and other senior railway officials here in this connection.

According to ECR CPRO A K Chandra, the Hong Kong-based firm discussed various issues related to development of Patna Junction as a world class station as well as provision of basic amenities for passengers on the station premises. Besides, the firm also discussed the traffic planning of Patna Junction and the required infrastructure of the proposed world class station, he said, adding the firm is likely to submit its plan in detail soon to the railways for its execution.

Giving a power presentation before the railway officials here, the technical experts of the firm expressed hope that Patna Junction would be given a world class station status on the pattern of other developed railway stations mostly found in European countries. The work would be completed by 2012 on priority basis. However, it would be better for the railways to shift the offices of the station on the first floor of the station building to give more space to passengers to move freely on platforms as well as carry out the approved plan for developing the station as a world class station, sources said.

The meeting later discussed re-construction of offices, staff quarters, rest house and other buildings situated on railway premises or on railway land as per the approved master plan of the railways, sources said.
Though New Delhi is likely to become the first world class station of the railways by 2010, the railways are to develop Patna Junction as world class station on the public-private partnership basis at an estimated cost of Rs 1,000 crore.

The railways have decided to develop Patna Junction as world class in the second phase of the work being taken up across the country. As many as 22 stations across the country have been selected by the railways for being given world class station status, a Railway Board official said.

While the entire station building will be given a facelift, facilities required for passengers right from booking of the tickets to accommodation would be provided at the station itself.