Digital Desk, Bhopal. India’s first world class Habibganj railway station has been completed in Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh. After re-development, such facilities will be available at this station which are not present in any railway station in India. Many facilities including shopping complex, hospital, mall, smart parking, high security will be available at Habibganj railway station. The preparations for its launch have started. Prime Minister Narendra Modi can inaugurate this station next month. Let us know how a normal railway station became a world class railway station …
16 April 1853 India’s first train with 14 coaches and 400 passengers left for Thane from Bombay. This train covered a distance of 34 kilometres. After this, India took the first step towards a new era when it started manufacturing steam locomotives. The first steam loco number F-734 1895 was built at Ajmer Workshop in Malwa, Rajputana. After this, in view of the increasing need, the Railway Board was formed in 1901.
The rail network inherited by India after independence needed a lot of improvement. Several lines were re-routed and new lines were built to connect important cities. Indian Railways was formed by connecting the railways owned by 42 princely states of India. After independence in 1947, Indian Railways had a network of 55,000 km. In 1952 the existing rail network was divided into 6 zones for administrative purpose.
With the prosperity of the Indian economy, Indian Railways started doing all the production in the country itself. After 1985, steam locomotives were gradually replaced by electric and diesel locomotives. For many years, work was done on the development of tracks and stations from electrification. Then came the date of 14 July 2016. Historic day for Indian Railways. Under Public Private Partnership, Indian Railways signed the first contract for the modernization of Habibganj station built in 1979.
After a five-year-long modernization project, Habibganj station was completed in July 2021. This station has world class facilities for which about Rs 100 crore has been spent. Habibganj station has 5 platforms, which are covered with different sheds. Efforts have been made to provide facilities keeping in mind that the passengers do not face any kind of problem. Separate toilets have been made for the handicapped. In the coming time, the station will also be connected to the metro station being built through the bridge.
Habibganj station has been designed in such a way that passengers entering and exiting trains will not collide with each other. Passengers entering will enter through the main buildings on both sides. You will reach Air Concor by lift, traveler, escalator. Will rest there and start the journey by getting down on the platform when the train arrives. Passengers arriving at Habibganj from other cities will de-board the train and exit the underground subway.
The station has a seating arrangement of 1100 passengers at a time. From clean AC waiting room to retiring room and dormitory facilities are available at this station. VIP lounge has also been built. Retail space has been provisioned for the same facilities as the shops at airport terminals.
The safety of the station and the people has also been taken care of. For this, 162 high resolution cameras have been installed here. Sitting in the control room, the entire station is monitored. The data of these cameras is stored on servers of 150 terabytes for a month. From fire detectors to other security related equipments have been installed here. The area outside the station is being developed at a cost of Rs 300 crore, which will have other facilities including malls.
Habibganj railway station building has been made environment friendly. To reduce the power consumption, the station has been designed in such a way that there is no need for light during the day. Insulated sheeting has been done on the roof to control the temperature. Apart from this, solar panels have been installed on the shed of the platform for power supply. The construction team also faced various engineering challenges while building this station.
Now the question arises whether this station with so many facilities has become out of reach of common people? Is there no railway control over this station now? Is this station private? To understand this, we have to understand Public Private Partnership ie PPP. The station is completely ready. As the pressure of passengers increases, lifts, travellers, escalators will be started. There are few passengers coming right now, so these facilities are closed.