After trying in vain to add to the infrastructure and facilities at Paharganj side, the railways are now shifting focus to the Ajmeri gate side by channeling bulk of operations there.
A new station building is about to be commissioned here to house the growing rush. The railways are trying hard to ensure that the Ajmeri Gate side does not go the Paharganj way.
With three storeys integrated with foot-overbridges at the station, the new building is designed to segregate outbound and incoming crowds as much as possible, thereby reducing the load on every square inch of space.
“The first storey is ready to be opened,” said Delhi Divisional Railways Manager Rakesh Saxena. “The remaining will be done in a few months.”
Built as part of the station’s renovation plan with an eye on the Commonwealth Games, the remarkable part of the station is its external design. The architects have made it resemble the pattern in Lutyens’ Delhi in general and the Connaught Place in particular with the round pillars supporting a long verandah as the external facade.
Owing to the presence of the Metro, the number of people using this part of the station has increased manifold over the years, demanding augmentation of facilities on an urgent basis.
“But the Ajmeri Gate side never had a station building like Paharganj. So, it was the need of the hour. We have spacious lobbies, public conveniences, bigger waiting rooms, retiring rooms and everything that make this side of the station complete,” said a senior railway official.
The new building will have 27 multi-purpose counters on the first floor aided by LCD displays of train status on each wall, so that adequate information to the passengers wards off touts and other unauthorised agents.
The serpentine queue that spills on the road and sometimes blocks way for cars and pedestrians at the station’s circulating area, will be a thing of the past.
That apart, the parking space is being reorganised to enhance access to the erstwhile Rail Yatri Niwas now the Ginger Hotel.