S. Anil Radhakrishnan
Thiruvananthapuram: Elevated platforms to avoid congestion, nine-storey station building with waiting hall, big concourse and 11 platforms are the highlights of the master plan worked out for the development of the Kochuveli Railway terminal.
The master plan, prepared by the Thiruvananthapuram Railway division and estimated to cost Rs.80 crore, has been submitted to the Railway Board for approval, a top Railway official told The Hindu .
The master plan has been prepared keeping in mind the needs of the Railways in next two decades.
A sum of Rs.15 crore would be needed for the acquisition of 29 hectares of land needed for the development of the terminal. The new station building at Kochuveli will cost the Railways Rs.1 crore.
Eleven platforms, 11 pit lines and 11 or 12 stabling lines to cater to the needs of maintenance of the rakes have been proposed. The new building would be on the city side of the existing Kochuveli station. The proposed station building will have a big waiting hall, reservation centre and a host of passenger amenities. The existing railway station building at Kochuveli would be converted into a service building.
The proposed 11 platforms would come up between the existing station and the road leading to the `English India Clays.'
Three platforms would be built at more elevation to cater to incoming trains. Three platforms will be at a lower level to cater to passengers of outgoing trains.
The eight-metre elevated platforms, first of its kind in the State, will help avoid the rush of passengers. The platforms would 10-metre in width and 630-metre long. This would help accommodate 26 bogies and 5,000 passengers.
The trains would deviate from near the Veli bridge to approach the proposed elevated platforms. The Southern Railway has taken up the matter with VSSC authorities to seek their opinion on the security angle, sources said.
The proposed pit lines, the authorities said, would not disturb the existing houses near the station building. Taking into account the future needs, 3.23 hectares has been earmarked for parking.
The existing road from near the `English India Clays' to Kazhakuttom-Inchivila NH 47 bypass would be widened straightened. The Railways will construct a road over bridge later to replace the existing level cross near the `English India Clays' to ensure the smooth flow of vehicular traffic.
Meanwhile, the division has forwarded the plan for the second phase of the development of the terminal to Southern Railway headquarters. After the approval, the plan would be forwarded to Chief Engineer (Construction).
Although 29 hectares of land is needed for the development of the terminal, the railways need three hectares immediately to commence work.
The immediate aim would be to construct three platforms, two pit lines, three stabling lines, three to four floors of the building and service facilities.
Divisional Railway Manager S. Vijayakumaran said the work would commence soon once the approval is obtained from the Southern Railway headquarters. "Funds are at our disposal to commence work," he added.
At present, three weekly trains are being handled at Kochuveli terminal. The Railways will be able to handle 25 trains from the terminal when it is fully developed at a cost of Rs.80 crore.
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