5-6 years needed to complete world-class station project

In written reply in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Railways KH Muniappa said work would begin after award of concession and financial closure is achieved by the concessionaire.

The completion of the project is likely to take five-six years due to “complexity and necessity to undertake the work while keeping the station operational”, the minister said. He said consultancy works for preparing the master plan and feasibility report had been taken up for New Delhi, CST Mumbai and Patna, but “due to high cost of these projects, not much headway could be made”.

He said measures had been initiated for appointment of consultants for 11 other stations – Secunderabad, Howrah, Anand Vihar (Ph. II), Chandigarh, Bijwasan, Kolkata, Porbandar, Surat, Ahmedabad, Sealdah and Chennai Central. For other stations, preliminary activities are being taken up by the Zonal Railways, he said.

In her Rail Budget in 2009 Banerjee had proposed that around 50 stations would be developed as world class stations with international level facilities. The stations would be developed through innovative financing and in Public Private Partnership mode. Among the stations to be developed into world class stations are CST Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Howrah, Sealdah, Bhubaneswar, New Delhi, Lucknow, Varanasi, Amritsar, Kanpur, Guwahati, Jaipur, Chennai Central, Tiruvananthapuram Central, Secunderabad, Tirupati, Bangalore City, Baiyapanahali (Bangalore), Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Habibganj, Gaya Jn., Agra Cantt., Mathura Jn., Chandigarh, Kolkata, New Jalpaiguri, Majerhat, Mangalore, Porbandar, Anand Vihar (Delhi), Bijwasan (Delhi), Ajmer Jn. and Puri.


Published in: on March 5, 2011 at 3:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Motibagh rly workshop to make green toilets

The suspense over who would manufacture environment-friendly toilets for train coaches in the city is over. The Railway Board has announced that the Rs 14.20 crore unit to make green toilets would be located at Motibagh workshop in city.

TOI on February 4 had reported that proposal to manufacture green toilets in Nagpur would be announced in the railway budget. Although railway minister Mamata Banerjee did not include the announcement in her speech, the decision still stands. The Board has made a token outlay of Rs 1 lakh for 2011-12 for the unit in Motibagh under the South East Central Railway (SECR). Deputy chief mechanical engineer (DyCME) Pradeep Kamle confirmed the development.

“We too are surprised. I learnt about it two days ago. No formal proposal was sent about the project and hence we also didn’t know about the modalities and details how the unit will be placed and its machinery. The Board will issue guidelines soon and a formal proposal will be sent,” Kamle said.

Earlier, there was ambiguity about the manufacturer. Two institutes – Vanrai and National Environment Engineering Research Institute (Neeri) – who have expertise in making green toilets had denied they were going to do the job. “The Indian Railways’ move to manufacture new design eco-friendly toilets in Nagpur is a step towards its commitment for cleaner environment and to prevent damage to rail tracks,” a senior railway official said.

“Efforts are on for installation of green toilets in trains and field trials are on for the purpose. Trials are going on for eco-friendly controlled discharge toilet system, zero discharge toilet system and bio-toilet based on bio-digester technology to be installed in all passenger trains. At present, Duronto Express has controlled discharge toilet system,” a senior official said.

Motibagh workshop began with maintaining steam engines 130 years ago, and has now started overhauling of broad gauge coaches.

What are eco-toilets?

Toilets in Indian trains are so terrifying that many passengers do not eat or drink anything during entire journey to avoid going there. Besides, human excreta released from trains spreads diseases and makes even standing at platforms unbearable. The eco-friendly toilet does not allow the refuse to fall on the tracks. Instead, it is collected in a tank fixed below the coach floor. The tank capacity is 900 litres, twice the capacity of the overhead water tank. The prototype of this toilet was developed in 2000. In appearance it is similar to the current train toilets.


Published in: on March 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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