Your Journey To Get Happier With Smart Railway Stations
I love train journeys but I get all worked up every time I have to take a train from the Old Delhi Railway Station for my hometown in Uttar Pradesh. The squalor around the station somehow overshadows my zeal of seeing my family soon after. I try to enter the platforms as late as I can; I try not to touch things unless the human rush forces me to hold onto a nearby railing to avoid falling. I take an unusually long bath after I reach home and refuse to embrace my family members before I'm done doing that. (Though they reach out to me with genuine emotion, I fear they too might not like the stench that I might be emitting because of the overnight journey.) And, I believe I'm not alone in thinking like this.
For most of us, the thrill of being on a train or the excitement of reaching our destination is often marred by the filth around the railway stations. While this is true of all railway stations, but the ones in the mega cities badly suffer from the dirt. As they serve a larger number of passengers daily, railways stations of major cities are prone to getting dirtier. As cities become smart in future, keeping the stations clean will be a key area of concern for them.
But things are likely to change in future.
“Cities are developed around railway stations. How can a city be a smart city without a smart station and how can a station not be developed around a smart city?” A Mint report quoted Railways Minster Suresh Prabhu as saying.
The Ministry of Urban Development recent signed a memorandum of understating with the Ministry of Railways to develop 100 smart railway stations. The National Buildings Construction Corporation will also be a partner in implementing the proposal. Starting with 10 stations of Sarai Rohilla, Bhubaneswar, Lucknow, Varanasi, Jaipur, Kota, Thane, Margao, Tirupati and Puducherry, the ministries plan to develop 500 smart railway stations in future. For an effective implementation, the ministries will take ideas from countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom, Korea, Belgium, France and Japan.
At a smart railway station, you can expect better cleaner surroundings, better amenities and easier access. If implemented well, this would be an effective measure to improve the brand of cities.
“We expect the traveler to remain blindfolded and not see the dirt and squalor around the city; we just expect them to jump to the Taj Mahal, ignoring everything bad that surrounds the Agra Railway Station,” Abha Narain Lambah, a conservation architect and head of Abha Narain Lambah Associates, had told the author of the article in an earlier interview.
This is likely to change in future.