Airport-like waiting area at New Delhi station
The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) said it will open the lounge in a 300 square metres area opposite platform No. 16 by early next year, Darpan Singh reports.delhi Updated: Oct 25, 2012 02:10 IST
The New Delhi Railway Station already boasts of facilities such a tourist centre, AC and non-AC waiting rooms, ATM services.
But for it to truly achieve the status of a world-class station it has to keep its promise of a lounge, on the lines of those seen at airports, by early next year.
The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) said it will open the lounge in a 300 square metres area opposite platform No. 16 by early next year.
The lounge will offer food and beverage, luggage racks, wheel chairs, Wi-Fi connectivity, business centres/enclosures with phone, fax, laptop facilities, lockers and foreign exchange.
There will also be a separate private dining area, apart from a common dinning space, for families or groups."Passengers can freshen up, change, have buffet meals, shop, read, watch TV, rent cabs and book tickets and hotel rooms," said Pradip Kundu of IRCTC.
The lounge will accommodate 125 people who will be able to stay in the lounge for three hours with a R300 smart card per passenger. The duration of stay can be increased on hourly basis, if desired.
"The lounge will be available for both AC and non-AC passengers," he said.
But the lounge is not the only project the Railways is working on at the station which connects major tourist destinations such as Jaipur and Agra and handles 300 trains and five lakh passengers every day.
"We're building a premium parking lot for 300 cars in front of platform number 16. The area currently is very congested and can barely house 200 cars," said Anurag Sachan, senior railway official.
The overall parking capacity will go up from 500 cars to 800 as the existing pre-paid booth area will be converted into a general parking area for 200 cars.
The current functional general parking for 300 cars at the drop-off area will remain as it is. A pre-paid booking counter for taxis and auto-rickshaws will be created near the platforms.
"There will be a foot-over bridge to take passengers directly from the railway station to the airport Metro station bypassing crowds of people and vehicles," he said.
"For the safety of the passengers, marshals - like the ones seen at airports - will also be deputed at the railway station," he added.
As many as 152 CCTV cameras and nine baggage scanners have been installed at the station.
The Railways will now install six escalators at the station near foot-over bridge no. 3.
The Railways have also planned to open a multi-cuisine restaurant.