Aug 1, 2016

After Mumbai CST old Delhi railway station likely to be declared world heritage



It was in this station where the first train had arrived from Howrah in West Bengal via Ghaziabad on August 1, 1864.

BRIEFCASE
1. A 565 crore project has been chalked out to restore and develop the railway station.

2. De-congestion of station and unhindered movement of passengers are key elements of the plan.

3.After the redevelopment, railways will approach UNESCO seeking world heritage status.


Having preserved the century old heritage of the Capital, the Old Delhi railway station may soon become a world heritage.

RESTORATION PROJECT

The Delhi Division of Indian Railways has chalked out a Rs 565-crore project to restore and develop the 113-year-old railway station into a world heritage similar to Mumbai's iconic Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, previously called the Victoria Terminal. The Old Delhi station, a heritage structure protected by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), will only be the second world heritage railway station in India after Mumbai CST.
The Delhi Division will soon approach UNESCO seeking the world heritage tag for the station. Decongestion of station premises and unhindered movement of passengers will be the key elements of the redevelopment plan, officials said. Keeping in view the heavily congested roads leading to the station, railways have planned elevated roads connecting the station premises.

"Two elevated roads in the form of ROBs will be constructed on either side of the Old Delhi railway station - SP Mukherjee Marg on Chandni Chowk side and Zorawar Singh Marg on Kashmere Gate side. The new grade separated entry will segregate the traffic destined to the railway station from the general traffic bound for Chandni Chowk and Old Delhi," said Divisional Railway Manager (Delhi) Arun Arora.

ONE OF THE OLDEST

The sprawling Old Delhi station is one of the oldest railway stations built by the British in India. The station is also witness to the advent of railway in Delhi. The station building also houses a two-room structure from where the Delhi Division of Indian Railways had started functioning way back in 1864.

It was this station where the first train had arrived from Howrah in West Bengal via Ghaziabad on August 1, 1864. At the time of construction, the station catered to 100 passengers per day which has gone up to nearly 3 lakh at present. It caters to over 250 trains every day.

"After the redevelopment, railways will approach UNESCO seeking world heritage status for the railway station," Arora said. For the station entry, an ROB will be constructed to build a new grade separated entry to Delhi station on SP Mukherji Road side from intersection of Netaji Subhash Marg.

The other bridge will be constructed on Zorawar Singh Marg side from Mahatma Gandhi Marg. The grade separated entry is required to segregate the traffic destined for station from the mixed traffic headed for Chandni Chowk and Old Delhi area.

To facilitate swift execution of the work, railway officials have also approached Delhi Government seeking its assistance in constructing the ROBs. The two ROBs will cost nearly Rs 400 crore while the remaining Rs 165 crore will be spent on developing passenger amenities and augmenting operational infrastructure at the railway station.