Sound barriers will be constructed along railway tracks near the Commonwealth Games Village in New Delhi by Indian Railways to ensure noise free environment for athletes.
This is for the first time that Railways is taking such a measure to make an entire locality free from noise pollution, Shri Prakash, General Manager of Northern Railway told PTI.
"There will be sound proof panels stretching upto 1.1 km on both sides of the tracks that passes near the Games Village site across the Yamuna river at an estimated cost of Rs 5 crore. Since there is a constant movement of trains on the tracks near the village, the noise of running trains may distract or annoy the athletes," Prakash said.
The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) is constructing the Games Village on the river bed for about 5,000 athletes who are expected to come form 71 countries.
"We are in constant touch with DDA and construction of the sound barriers would commence soon. Sound barriers are a common feature in highways and tracks passing through populated areas in most of the advanced countries," said Prakash.
The Commonwealth Games would begin in October 2010 and railways has several plans for the Games.
Construction of world class railway stations at New Delhi and new terminals at Anand Vihar, expanding all existing terminals in the city, running chartered trains to nearby cities like Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur for tourists during the Games and, most importantly, eliminating all surface railway crossings in the capital are some of the projects finalised by the railways for the Games.
"It is our top priority to complete all our Games related projects before they begin as most of these are meant for the develoment of infrastructure," said Prakash.
There are 32 level crossings in Delhi and all of these would be converted to either rail overbridge (ROB) or rail underbridge (RUB).
Each bridge is estimated to cost about Rs 25 crore and construction work would commence soon with the help of the Delhi government and the civic authorities, said Prakash.
The railway level crossings always witness traffic bottlenecks in the city. The construction of bridges would ensure smooth traffic.
As far as New Delhi railway station is concerned Prakash said, "it is a major project that aims at changing the entire scenario at an estimated cost of Rs 100 crore. Once completed, it will be a state-of-the-art station."
There will be new platforms, expansion of existing platforms, creation of multi-layer parking system, modern passenger amenities, separate departure and arrival areas to streamline passenger movements with proper connectivity to other transport modes, inter platform transfer through elevators, adequate signages, food plazas and barrier free access for physically challenged persons.
The consultants are being appointed to develop the station through public private participation.
The Prime Minister's Committee on Infrastructure has appointed an inter-ministerial group under the Railway Board Chairman to evolve a model concession agreement for the railway station by October 31.