With land constraints impeding the upgradation of the existing railway station in Bhubaneswar into a world class station, East Coast Railway (ECoR) is seriously considering the possibility of developing a greenfield station at Barang on the outskirts of the city.
The zonal railway has been advised to prepare detailed plans for development of the proposed world class station at both the locations. This was decided at a review meeting on the status of the station held recently.
According to minutes of the meeting provided by minister for commerce & transport minister Sanjeev Sahoo in the state assembly, Guru C Ray, commissioner (rail coordination) and special secretary (commerce & transport) had advised the Chief General Engineer of ECoR to prepare a power point presentation for development of both the Bhubaneswar and Barang stations.
ECoR was also advised to prepare detailed agenda notes for discussion so that a meeting can be arranged at the Chief Secretary level for taking a decision in the matter.
The Chief General Engineer of ECoR stated that the Railways would start the project on availability of government land measuring an area of 78.90 acres and private land of 15.08 acres for the development of the existing Bhubaneswar railway station.
However, the special secretary observed that the vicinity of the existing Bhubaneswar railway station is thickly populated and heavily built up where the cost of land is very high.
It may be noted that 161.96 acres of land was identified around the existing station which includes 67.97 acres belonging to the Railways, 78.90 acres belonging to the state's general administration department and 15.08 acres of private land.
The development of a greenfield station at Barang was also discussed at the meeting. The representative of Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), present at the meeting, stated that the required land has been identified through survey. The zonal railway was advised to initiate the process for land acquisition at the earliest.
Earlier, a delegation of Chinese Railways had suggested to upgrade the existing city railway station into international standards.
A high-level Chinese railway delegation led by W U Wei, director of Sino-India Railway Cooperation Working Group, had visited Bhubaneswar in July 2008 to explore the feasibility of developing a world class station here.
The delegation had held discussions with A K Goyal, the then general manager of ECoR and had submitted its report to the Railway Board on the feasibility of developing a world class station in Bhubaneswar.
The cost of developing the world class station in the city was estimated at around Rs 4,000 crore.
The station was to be built on the public private partnership (PPP) mode taking into account the growth in passenger traffic for the next 30 years and also plan for peripheral commercial activity accordingly.
It may be noted that the proposed world class station in the city has made negligible progress at the ground level for close to two years even though the state chief minster and the railway Board had agreed on working out a joint mechanism to expedite this project.
Indian Railways had identified 26 stations across the country,including Bhubaneswar for upgrading them into world class stations in the first phase. In all, 50 stations were to be developed into world class stations.