New Delhi : Shri Narendra Modi – Hon’ble Prime Minister of India will inaugurate & dedicate to the nation various vital infrastructural projects in the state of Gujarat which includes Gauge Converted cum Electrified Mahesana – Varetha line and the newly electrified Surendranagar – Pipavav section, newly redeveloped Gandhinagar Capital Railway station & flag off two new trains i.e Gandhinagar Capital – Varanasi Superfast Express and MEMU service trains between Gandhinagar Capital and Varetha on 16th July, 2021, through video conferencing.
Railways have contributed in a big way towards the multi-faceted development of Gujarat state which is renowned for its vibrant culture.
The details of the project, salient features as well as the benefits are as under:
MAHESANA – VARETHA GAUGE CONVERTED CUM ELECTRIFIED BROAD GAUGE LINE (INCLUDING VADNAGAR STATION)
Gauge converted cum Electrified section at Varetha
The Mahesana – Varetha Gauge conversion of 55 km has been completed at a cost of Rs 293.14 crores alongwith the electrification work at a cost of Rs. 74.66 crores. The total cost of the project is Rs. 367.80 crores. It has total of 10 stations with four newly developed station buildings viz. Visnagar, Vadnagar, Kheralu & Varetha. The Gauge Conversion with electrification has connected this section to Mahesana including Ahmedabad – Delhi Broad Gauge line. The Mahesana – Varetha section has been electrified under Mission 100% Railway Electrification policy. This will provide cleaner, greener, faster & environment friendly Rail Transportation which will reduce carbon footprint. This isolated section will also experience a socio-economic boom, by opening doors for bigger opportunities for the locals residing in this area.
View of redesigned Vadnagar station
A major station on this section is Vadnagar, a historically important town, which has been developed under Vadnagar – Modhera – Patan Heritage Circuit. Vadnagar station building has been designed aesthetically using stone carvings, Entry and Exit gates have been architecturally designed as well as circulating area has been provided with landscaping. Vadnagar will now get connected with rest of India through a broad gauge line and passenger & goods trains can be run seamlessly on this section connecting various parts of the country. Some of the amenities provided at Vdnagar railway station are Foot Over Bridges connecting the platforms, Waiting Hall with café, Waiting Rooms for General & Ladies passengers, Ramp, toilet & watering facilities for Divyang passengers etc.
ELECTRIFICATION OF SURENDRANAGAR – PIPAVAV SECTION
Double stack container on the High Rise OHE section
Surendranagar-Pipavav electrification project has been completed providing impetus to the much aspired Mission 100% electrification over Indian Railways. The Surendranagar – Pipavav Electrified section (264 RKM) with High Rise OHE has been completed at a total cost of Rs 289.47 crores in a record time of three years and commissioned in February 2021. It is one of best project delivery over Indian Railways.
This is a very important Port connectivity route & feeder route to Western Dedicated Freight corridor. This route establishes seamless movement of heavy load freight trains including double stack containers, from Pipavav Port to northern parts of country. This section forms the part of Palanpur – Botad High Rise OHE section consisting of 7.57 m high contact wire and which was commissioned on 10th June 2020. It has earned the distinction of running the World’s first Double Stack Container Train with high rise pantograph. Additionally, upon electrification of adjoining small patches of Dhola – Bhavnagar and Rajula – Mahuva sections, all Mail /Express and passenger trains will also be taken over to Electric traction, thus establishing faster and seamless connectivity with Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Mumbai and other destinations in southern, northern & north-eastern regions of country. The project will benefit by providing seamless freight movement from Palanpur, Ahmedabad and other parts of country upto Pipavav Port without any change of traction. It will also decongest Ahmedabad, Viramgam and Surendranagar Yards due to avoidance of detentions for loco change over. With electrification of adjoining small patches Dhola – Bhavnagar/ Sehor – Palitana and Rajula – Mahuva sections, all passenger/Mail express trains will be switched to electric traction thereby establishing direct & faster connectivity with Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Mumbai, New Delhi and other parts of country. It is faster, economical & eco-friendly mode of traction providing saving of approx. Rs. 31.36 crores p.a on account of migration from costly diesel fuel to electric energy.
REDEVELOPMENT OF GANDHINAGAR CAPITAL STATION TRANSFORMING INTO SMART CITY
Day and Night view of the front façade of Redeveloped Gandhinagar Capital station
Indian Railways under the visionary leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is leaping ahead with transformational milestones every day. In this direction, a world class Railway Station has been developed at Gandhinagar Capital. A Joint Venture SPV namely Gandhinagar Railway and Urban Development (GARUD) company was formed with Government of Gujarat and Indian Railway Station Development Corporation (IRSDC) for the redevelopment of the station. The upgradation of Gandhinagar Capital Railway station has been done at a cost of Rs 71.50 crore.
Gandhinagar Capital Railway station has some unique features like a column free, sleek and economical space frame of 105 meter span which is the longest on Indian Railways. The civil structure has been designed with 120 years of life. The Reinforcement steel is provided with IP coating for longevity. The roof is covered with KALZIP Aluminium sheeting over all platforms for providing good comfort from sun/ rain to the passengers. It is for the first time in India that a 5 star Hotel has been built over Running Live Railway tracks. The construction malba generated at site has been reused in the filling of low-lying areas of the peripheral road. The station concourse has an area of 7096 sqm which can be used in future for commercialization to house multiplexes, shopping centres, Food & Beverage courts etc.
With an aim of giving priority to passenger satisfaction, Gandhinagar Capital station has been developed jeweled with amenities at par with modern airports for a pleasurable experience. There is segregated Entry and Exit surrounded by landscaped area. Parking facilities have been provided for more than 300 vehicles. There is an inter-faith prayer hall, art gallery with LED wall display lounge, baby feeding room, centralized AC waiting hall, Double height entrance lobby with spacious ticketing facility etc. Special Care has been taken to make it a Divyang friendly station by providing it with a special ticket booking counter, ramps, lifts, dedicated parking space etc. In terms of vertical circulation, escalators and elevators have been provided at the station. Seamless Wi-Fi connectivity is available on the station. The 3 platforms are well connected through 2 subways. The centralized AC multipurpose waiting lounge has a capacity to seat 40 people. The waiting area at the platform too has a capacity to seat almost 500 passengers. With regard to safety, the entire station, including platforms have been provided with fire hydrant system and extinguishers. The Arrival and Departure areas and subway are well protected by fire detection and fire sprinklers. The complete building is designed and provided with Green Building rating features and certified GEM 5 Sustainability Standards Green Certification from ASSOCHAM. The state-of-the-art external façade will have daily theme based lighting with 32 themes.
The new developed Gandhinagar Capital station building will provide plethora of amenities and a unique experience to the passengers and cater to every comfort making travelling delightful.