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Old Posted Sep 16, 2009, 11:19 AM
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Mamata pledges support to Sheila for 2010 projects

Mamata pledges support to Sheila for 2010 projects

In an attempt to close ranks with Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit, who is under pressure as several key Commonwealth Games projects lag behind schedule, railway minister Mamata Banerjee said she has instructed the general manager of Northern Railway, Vivek Sahai, to meet any demands put forth by the state regarding the Games. "From now on, Commonwealth Games will be top priority for railways,'' said Banerjee. She was speaking at the inauguration of the new three-storey building at the Ajmeri Gate side of New Delhi railway station.

The railway minister also announced the running of Commonwealth Express from Delhi. "It will be run in association with the ministry of sports and youth affairs. The train will tour the entire country and raise awareness about the event,'' said Banerjee. A science train in collaboration with the IITs will also be flagged off from Gandhinagar on October 2.

"The Ajmeri Gate entrance building, having a total space of 9,000 sqm, is a festival gift for people visiting Delhi this year,'' said Banerjee.

According to Sahai, railways will also construct a new foot-overbridge (FOB) taking the total number of FOBs to four at the station. "We have already released funds for this purpose,'' said Sahai. The GM also informed that final discussions are on to install special escalators at all the 16 platforms of the station. "The escalators will come as a relief for all passengers who will no longer need to depend on porters,'' he said.

The New Delhi station at present handles 273 trains. On an average, approximately 3.6 lakh passengers use the facilities at the station daily while during peak travel time this number touches 5 lakh.

"To cater to the burgeoning masses, the expansion at the Ajmeri Gate side of this station was taken up in July 2005. The first floor was commissioned in March 2009. The ground floor has an area of 2,800 sqm while the first and second floors are spread on 3,100 sqm each,'' said Anant Swarup, CPRO, Northern Railway.

The three-storey complex will also have a provision for another two floors. The work has been completed at the cost of Rs 25 crore.

While the arrival/departure hall and waiting-cum-sitting space for unreserved passengers have been provided on the ground floor, along with 9 enquiry and platform ticket counters, with some being earmarked for differently-abled and senior citizens. Other facilities May I Help You booths, fast-food joints, cloak rooms, ATMs, pay and use public toilets have also been provided on this floor besides VIP lounges and drinking water booths.

There will be 27 counters for enquiry, platform tickets, refund and unreserved ticketing systems. Special counters for senior citizens, ladies and physically handicapped passengers have been provided on the first floor. In addition, ladies waiting room, ATMs, book shop, STD booths, cafeteria and will be provided on the first floor.
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