Jammu railway station to be renovated – Jammu Kashmir Latest News | Tourism | So Good News


Uchit Singhal
Recently, the Union Cabinet approved redevelopment projects with an approximate total investment of Rs. 10000 crore for 3 railway stations namely New Delhi, Ahmedabad and CSMT Mumbai. A success story that started from Habibganj has today left its mark across the railway map of our nation. Today approximately 199 stations across the Indian Railway are slated to be redeveloped and Jammu Tawi railway station is no exception to this. The basic premise behind the redevelopment of the station is to develop self-sustaining railway stations in the country with high standards of safety, comfort, user-friendly passenger facilities of international standards, value-added services and efficiency by adopting the best technological practices, sound financial strategy and optimal utilization of resources . The idea is that the entire cost of rebuilding stations will be covered by utilizing commercial development of vacant railway land/airspace in and around the station. Jammu Tawi Railway Station which was inaugurated 50 years back is today the largest railway station in J&K. Apart from serving the temples themselves, it is an important railway point for other places in this region and also for tourists heading towards the Kashmir valley. It was an irony that such a big station of utmost national as well as tourist importance continues to serve the state of J&K with only 3 platforms. In this article, we will focus on the various aspects and nuances of the Jammu station redevelopment project and what it will mean and translate into when it is commissioned.
Jammu station currently has only 3 platforms and 3 washing lines for maintenance of coach rakes which is not sufficient for this station. Due to this either the trains are held back to Jammu station outside due to lack of platform or the train is stranded on the platform due to lack of washing line. Both conditions are very unfavorable for smooth train operation and give rise to delays that affect the driving experience. Due to capacity constraints, additional services, whether in the form of new trains or bus expansion, are not possible as this would further throttle the already congested terminal. Sensing the need to cater to the aspirations of the local population, redevelopment of the Jammu bus terminal was planned in 2016-17. Due to many reasons, it could not start as planned. Meanwhile, the station development work was handed over by IR to RLDA (Rail Land Development Authority) which in turn appointed DIMTS (Delhi Integrated Multimodal Transit System Limited) as its consultant for preparation of technical feasibility report, concept plan and master plan with respect to station redevelopment. The aim behind the study was to:
a) Segregation of arrival/departure passenger movements to the extent possible, including unhindered movement of passengers while avoiding cross circulation in the railway area.
b) Safe and comfortable passenger facilities/services with maximum possible modern conveniences in a clean and appealing atmosphere, including adequate parking within station premises and efficient multimodal interface at the station with special focus on old, weak and physically disabled persons.
c) Provide a solution to the deficiencies and problems faced by passengers at the railway station today in accordance with the traffic forecasts for the next decades.
d) Sufficient and coherent commercial development on and around the station and achievement of the public policy objectives based on life cycle cost minimisation.
e) Construction of Green Building Project with environmental factors that are given very high priority.
RLDA proposed to do the above work via PPP mode, but looking at the priority and importance of the work, it was decided that it should be completed by the construction wing of the concerned Zonal Railways. And with this, the grant requirement for 2021-22 had a special work mentioned under the Plan Heading – 52 regarding the major upgradation of stations on Indian Railways of which Jammu Railway station was also a part. The detailed estimate sanctioned for the Jammu station was around Rs 262 crores. The construction wing worked actively with the consultant who was already working on the project, i.e. DIMTS, and prepared the necessary drawings, timelines for execution of work and a tender document based on the EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction model) where a Bathinda-based construction company was flown in. packed the same for about Rs. NOK 215 million. The tender for the redevelopment of the yard, which also involves similar financial expenses, has also been published and is expected to open in the next few days. The advantage of the EPC model is that detailed specifications are given to the construction company with all criteria to be met with set performance specifications and deadlines. Coming to the results part, Jammu railway station after the proposed redevelopment and yard redevelopment work will be a 7 platform station with 5 designated wash lines for maintenance purposes and 4 rake stall lines. Simply put, this will lead to additional services to and from this region and reduced detentions outside the Jammu Tawi station. The yard capacity will be enhanced which will help in smooth running of trains through Jammu Tawi. Apart from the above, the proposed plan will meet the long-pending demand for a second entrance to the station and includes within its scope the construction of new station buildings on both the old side (A side) and the new side (B side). The new entrance on the Narwal side of the station will serve as an alternate entrance for the passengers coming directly from Udhampur and outside regions. Being close to the bypass and away from the city rush will be a preferred choice for commuters.
The current station complex which has only one side entrance becomes very congested during the busiest times which are early morning when most trains arrive here and in the evening when most departing trains are concentrated. An air concourse is also proposed which will be 72 meters wide with a waiting area and shops for the departing passengers. Two new foot over bridges with associated lifts and escalators for the arriving passengers are proposed. External development works with regard to the development of pedestrian plazas, parking areas, roads, green areas, footpaths, drop-off and pick-up zones are also planned in the work. The new station building is proposed to be a G+2 complex with dimensions 200X26m dimensions at Aside and 60X20m dimensions at B-side. The certified green building will be iconic in its own right as it has been planned with traffic projections in mind for the next 40-60 years. Segregation of arriving and departing passengers will ensure problem-free movement and clutter-free platforms that will have improved surfaces with necessary signage and digital screens for travel-related information.
The station conversion project has been completed after intense traffic planning studies of the region. The model is based on a forecast for traffic demand which in turn depends on 3 variables, namely forecast for station passenger demand, traffic generation due to proposed development and normal traffic growth on the urban network. For the estimation and planning of parking space, demand estimation is made based on traffic flow, time studies, travel characteristics and estimated vehicle growth. The plan is in line with the development plan for the road network, the urban development plan, the smart city proposal and the subway proposal. Studies were also carried out with regard to train arrival and departure patterns, development of ticket sales at stations and composition of reserved/unreserved/platform passengers.
To summarize, one can only say that the new station building will not only serve as a transport hub, but will have the potential to develop into a commercial hub in the city that will bring socio-economic development not only to the city area, but to the region as a whole.
(The author is an IRTS officer serving in J&K in the capacity of Station Director Jammu)


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