The Union Budget 2021 is expected to focus more on the railways and needed infrastructure. The Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation is currently working on the redevelopment of the first two railway stations in Habibganj and Gandhinagar to provide airport-like, world class facilities.
Habibganj Railway Station
The Habibganj Railway station in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, will have a glass dome-like structure at the entrance. There will be separate areas for retail outlets along with cafeterias like those that can be seen at airports. After the renovation work is over, the station will have a waiting lounge and modern toilets.
Apart from that, the station will also have gaming zones and world class interiors. The station will have a wastewater treatment plant for reusing the water, and will also support LED lighting that is energy efficient.
Currently, the development work at the Habibganj station is at an advanced stage. Most of the services which fall under phase 1 are likely to be opened by January 2021. The facilities which are in phase 1 include lifts, escalators, and other amenities to manage passenger traffic. The rest of the facilities will be opened by March 2021.
Gandhinagar Railway Station
Gandhinagar station in Gujarat will also have renovated station buildings with similar features. The station will have a 5-star hotel above the tracks, which is to be run by the Leela Group. The new station will also have retail shops as well as food courts. The transit hall will have a seating capacity of 600 passengers.
New Delhi Railway Station
At the same time, the New Delhi Railway Station is being redeveloped with an expenditure of Rs. 6,500 crores. With this project, it is expected to strengthen the real estate development of the nearby regions. It will also generate employment opportunities and help in tourism related activities. By upgrading the infrastructure and improving other facilities, the railway station will be made into a multi-modal hub.
The other stations which will also be redeveloped in the coming months like the ones which are being redeveloped are Surat, Bijwasan, Anand Vihar, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Kanpur, Gwalior, Sabarmati, etc.
Other Development Programs
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman also announced during the Union Budget 2020 that 150 private trains will be introduced within the next 3-4 years. The minister also announced that more Tejas Express trains would start their service, primarily focussing on tourist routes.
The Tejas Express trains are premium version trains run by IRCTC. Tejas Express trains are also equipped with many modern features such as CCTVs, bio-toilets, tea/coffee vending machines, automatic doors, reading lights, call buttons, and entertainment screens. They also come with button operated blinds for windows.