Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday dedicated a series of projects for the development of rail infrastructure in poll-bound West Bengal, which he said will not only enhance passenger experience but also help in faster movement of goods.
He inaugurated a second foot over-bridge at Santragachi, Freight Terminal at Sankrail (Phase-I) and Vivekananda Meditation Centre at Howrah and an executive lounge at Sealdah station.
He also dedicated to the nation, two escalators at Sealdah station, two lifts at Sealdah station and a premium lounge at Kolkata station.
"The Sankrail freight terminal has eight full electrified lines. It will provide the facility of quick freight movement from industrial areas around Sankrail. New elevators, escalators at busy Sealdah station will provide facilities to the passengers."
"A new foot over-bridge at Santragachi will connect such platforms and will facilitate passenger movement. It shows the railways' commitment to offer best services to our passengers and also enhance movement of goods," Mr Goyal said while inaugurating these facilities digitally.
He also launched the integrated security system at Barddhaman station, foot over-bridge at Jhamatpur Baharan and Nimo stations, extension of platform shed at Balagarh and Guptipara stations and escalator at Barddhaman, Tarkeswar and Nabadwip Dham stations through video conferencing.
Mr Goyal also expressed his condolences on the tragic incident that took place at Nimtita railway station.
West Bengal minister Jakir Hossain was seriously injured after unidentified attackers hurled bombs at him in Nimtita railway station in Murshidabad district on Wednesday night.
Santragachi station is one of the busiest stations over the Howrah-Kharagpur section. It is being developed with all modern amenities. The second foot-over bridge at Santragachi constructed at a cost of Rs 20 crore is 12 metre wide and 166 metre-long connecting platforms numbers one to six of Santragachi station, the Railways said in a statement.
This facility will improve and ease the dispersal and mobility of incoming and outgoing passengers at Santragachi station, it said.
The Sankrail Freight Terminal (Phase-I) has been developed with modern facilities for freight rake handling to ensure faster turnaround of rakes for speedy transportation of inward/outward consignments serving major industries like iron and steel, textile, garments, plastic, food and beverages, foundries, cement.
This freight terminal will serve around 40 sqkm industrial belt spreading over Kolkata and Howrah in West Bengal has been constructed at a cost of Rs 109 crore, it said.
The Vivekananda Meditation Centre at Howrah has been constructed at a cost of Rs 65 lakh of which Rs 30 lakh has been arranged from the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) fund of MP Pradip Bhattacharya.
The total built up area of this centre is 3,528 sqft and the meditation hall area is 2,100 sqft. It has a capacity to hold 70 persons.
The executive lounge at Sealdah station covers an area of 2,000 sq ft and is provided with a separate capsule lift for easy access.
A fully air-conditioned premium waiting lounge has been set up at Kolkata station. This has been developed at platform number one of Kolkata station at a cost of Rs 85 lakh on a covered area of 2,000 sqft, the Railways said.
In order to augment security of passengers and railway property, an Integrated Security System has been commissioned at Barddhaman station. This will strengthen security checking at all entry/exit gates, frisking of passengers through Hand Held Metal Detector (HHMD), screening of passenger luggage through Luggage Scanner Machine (LSM) and Door Framed Metal Detector screening.
The total cost incurred to complete the Integrated Security System Work is Rs 2.3 crore. Commissioning of this system will ensure better surveillance through CCTV control rooms and enable the Railway Protection Force (RPF) to discharge their duties and responsibilities in an organised manner, the Railways said.