Unprecedented transformation of railway stations

DJ Narain
Railway stations in India have been an integral part of memories of almost every individual of the Nation. They also are vital symbol of not only the state of infrastructure and transport cum travel logistics of the nation but an important element of visual architectural landscape of the country.
More than 2 crore Indians traverse through Indian stations each day, yet never before such an effort, as being done now, was put in place to modernize this essential part of Indian infrastructure and improve day to day travel experience of millions of its people.
As India takes determined steps towards multi trillion dollar economy, mission of transformation of Railways stations, from being an accumulator of dirt, squalor and filth to being the clean bustling centers of comfortable travel, symbol of National pride and heritage andworld class conve- niences, is truly remarkable. The mission is already beginning to show astonishing results.
These modernized railway stations are representative of a Nation that is not only modernizing fast but also a governance that cares for its citizens. Experiencing Indian Railways means experiencing India as a Nation as well.
Before 2014, in the name of modernization, scattered efforts were being made to improve passenger amenities and improve the façade of very few busy railway stations, with no visibility. After 2014, redevelopment of railway stations across India became a priority agenda of Ministry of Railway. This agenda is now being driven with full force by the Government.
Gandhinagar Railway station in Gujarat was the first station to undergo modernization in 2021. Later on, in the same year, Rani Kamlapati Railway Station (formerly known as Habibganj) was the first railway station on Indian Railways being redeveloped.
In 2022, Union Cabinet approved redevelopment of 3 major railway stations-New Delhi Railway Station, Ahmedabad Railway Station and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) Mumbai, with an approximate total investment of nearly Rs 10,000 Cr.
(To be contd)