Same platform to board bus and buy train tickets

Frequent traveller Deepak Panda jumps out of the bus and makes a dash to the railway station to know about train schedule. Panda’s hassle might end if the development authority’s plan to have railway booking counters and an information centre at the bus terminus takes shape.

According to preliminary plans drawn up by the Bhubaneswar Development Authority, the terminus will be developed into a multi-storey complex. The ground floor will be used for parking buses and booking tickets. The upper storeys will house railway reservation counters and an information kiosk.

Vice-chairman of the authority Vishal Kumar Dev said the development authority had several meetings with the East Coast Railway regarding makeover of the complex. “It was decided that while the ground floor would be used for parking of city buses and providing space for passenger amenities, repair workshops and allied facilities, the railway could use the upper floors to set up enquiry kiosks and booking counters.” The last meeting was held in May.

The authority has engaged an architect to draw up a detailed plan for the project. On the other hand, the railway also has plans for expansion of the existing station and addition of two more tracks near platform No. 1.

With expansion of two more tracks, the station building, housing the office of the station master and other offices, will have to be demolished along with the booking counters. Some of these could be relocated to the nearby bus terminus complex.

As daily commuter Panda said: “The railway booking counters and information kiosks should be located in a spacious area and the authorities should act on their plan as soon as possible.”

At present, the railway ticket-booking counters and information kiosks are located several metres away from each other. Once it is near the city bus terminus, passengers can know the timings of trains easily after arriving there.

Chief public relations officer of the railway J.P. Mishra said: “It was decided that the development authority will prepare a master plan for the land where the city bus terminal is situated. Once we get the master plan, we will respond to it immediately.” He said once the authority finalised its plan, the railway, too, would start working on its expansion project.

A senior railway official said while the Rs 80-crore station renovation plan was getting delayed due to funds crunch, the state government had offered to bear 50 per cent cost of the project to ensure a modern railway terminal.

LINK POINT

• City bus terminus near railway station to become modern transit point for both bus and train passengers
• Ground floor to become pick-up and drop point for bus passengers
• Other floors to have ticket-booking counters for trains and enquiry kiosks
• Architect engaged to prepare terminal master plan

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1130831/jsp/odisha/story_17292918.jsp#.UiHpitJT7xY

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