Does travelling from Dwarka to New Delhi railway station, to catch that Rajdhani, seems more arduous than the entire journey out of the Capital? The Northern Railways plans to end travel woes by setting up three mega terminal stations — at Bijwasan near Dwarka (west), Holambi Kalan (north) and Shakur Basti (northwest).
If all goes as planned, these super, swanky stations will come up in less than four years. All major trains, including Rajdhani and Shatabdi, will stop here.
Said a railway official: “At present, people in western, northern and eastern Delhi go through a lot of hassle to reach the three terminal stations at New Delhi, Old Delhi and Nizamuddin. This puts a load on the existing stations and the intra-city traffic." For Delhiites used to the Metro experience, the new stations will not be a disappointment. There will be food plazas, shopping arenas, spacious parking lots, plasma-screen display for guidance and air-conditioned retiring rooms.
Sources said the railways had identified the sites, worked out the initial budget and might start work by year-end. "Work will start as soon as the sites are acquired," an official said. For the Bijwasan terminal the railways has chosen an 80-hectare plot at a cost of Rs 80 crore, while for the Holambi Kalan station the Delhi government has agreed to allot a site at an estimated cost of Rs 41 crore.
Railways has chosen its own plot for the Shakur Basti terminal. "Since we have land in Shakur Basti, building the infrastructure will be easier and faster," the official said.
According to official estimates, New Delhi, Old Delhi and Nizamuddin together service around 10 lakh people during peak hours every day. With the new terminals in place, the rush will be almost halved. And then, perhaps, the old trio too can aspire to the Metro's glaze.