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Surat railway station needs a lot of sprucing up: trade body

Summit Khanna  |  Surat 

The Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SGCCI) is seeking better infrastructure and passenger facilities at the Surat railway station.
"The Surat railway station is one of the biggest revenue earner of the Western Railway. However, the station is in a bad shape and lacks facilities, proper cleaning. Surat is the commercial capital of Gujarat and hundreds of business travellers arrive in the city each day. The very first impression one gets is not something to talk about," said Dinesh Mandalaywala, former president of the chamber.
The chamber is also demanding a new railway station. "It is an old demand that the existing Surat railway station be replaced by a modern and better station. The master plan for the new station has already been made by the NID, but for reasons best known to the railway authorities, the plan has not been implemented so far. We do not even know the current status of the plan. The railway authorities should realise the importance of this demand and initiate steps at the earliest," Mandalaywala said.
According to chamber president Dilip Chasmawala, the lack of parking facility is a big trouble.
"There is hardly any parking space. The issue has been raised on numerous occasions, but nothing has been done and the problem has actually worsened. The railways should have a dialogue with the Surat Municipal Corporation and acquire land for the parking space. A two-three tier parking facility should be created," Chasmawala said.
Chasmawala said that the shifting of goods yard could help solve most of the problems. "Like in any other big cities, goods yard at the station should be shifted to the outskirts. It should be ideally located at the satellite stations such as Bhestan, Sayan, Kosad, Udhna, Chalthan, Maroli or Utran. Such a move will not only provide a lot of extra space, but will also reduce traffic congestion," he explained.
Mandalaywala, who is also a member of the divisional railway users consultative committee (DRUCC), said that he would raise these issues in the committee's meeting, which will be held in Mumbai on Wednesday.
The issue of improving rail connectivity between Surat and Ahmedabad, providing enroute booking against vacant seats among others would also be raised in the meeting.
He expressed confidence that the railways would move in the direction to fulfil these demands.

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First Published: Wed, November 09 2005. 00:00 IST