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Andhra Pradesh - Vijayawada Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Vijayawada station to be modernised

By M. Rajeev

VIJAYAWADA, FEB. 5. For the people of Vijayawada who are a disappointed lot after the presentation of the Railway budget here is some good news.

Though no fresh sops were announced for the city in the Railway budget, the South Central Railway (SCR) authorities are embarking upon modernisation of the Vijayawada railway station on a massive scale. Modelled on the lines of Chennai railway station, Vijayawada station will have a host of passenger-friendly modern amenities. The station, which handles an estimated 30,000 people every day is in such poor condition that there is no separate counter for issuing platform tickets, leave aside other facilities. People are forced to stand in the general reservation queue even for purchasing platform tickets.

However, the situation will not be the same once the works planned by the Railway authorities are completed. Coin operated platform ticket vending machines, interactive voice response systems to answer passenger queries, note exchange machines to avoid problem of small change and four additional counters for issuance of tickets form part of the plan to modernise the station. "We are also inviting bids from different banks to set up their ATM centres in the station premises by following an open bid system. The bids are likely to be invited in the next one week," the Deputy Commercial Manager, SCR, Vijayawada, Prabhakara Rao, told The Hindu. He said it has also been proposed to improve the facilities at the Caltex road entrance to the station by setting up two reservation counters as well as laying an approach road. Two more counters will be set up at the parcel office entrance to avoid long queues and rush near the main entrance.

The work for setting up of the new counters is expected to be complete by May. In addition, plans are also afoot for issuing advance general tickets to passengers opting for inter-city expresses from the SCR's Benz circle counter. "Presently passengers are forced to visit the station twice, for obtaining the ticket and boarding the train later. But if tickets are issued a day in advance it will be more convenient to them," he said.

Besides, it has also been decided to increase the number of surveillance cameras at the railway station to keep a constant watch on the movements of passengers as well as trace misplaced articles or children. "We are presently having 15 cameras which are of great help to us and therefore, we want to increase their number to make the system more effective," he said.

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