Shalimar, in Howrah, is being turned into a major railway terminal by South Eastern Railway (SER). Located much closer to the Vidyasagar Setu than either Howrah or Santragachhi stations, this will be an ideal place from where trains towards central, southern or western India can originate. Shalimar is also on the banks of the Hooghly and this will facilitate transportation from Kolkata in ferries.
“Most SER trains now originate and terminate at Howrah station. Though the new terminus of Howrah station is meant exclusively for SER trains, there is capacity restriction. We require a new terminus for our trains, particularly the new ones that have been announced in the last few years. At present, Shalimar has very poor road connectivity. Apart from other passenger amenities, a double-lane connectivity to the nearby Andul Road has been planned for quick dispersal of passengers. There will also be connectivity to the jetty,” said Sanjoy Ghosh, CPRO, SER.
The new terminal will have a three-storied station building with facilities such as better roads, Road Over Bridges (ROBs), parking lots, bus stands, water treatment plant and an overhead reservoir. Most of the existing structures will be demolished to make way for the new ones.
“The project to develop Shalimar station was sanctioned in 2011-12. The original sanctioned cost was nearly Rs 204.85 crore and SER engaged IRCON to develop the station. IRCON developed a master plan and submitted a revised estimate of Rs 350 crore. The flyover connecting the station to Andul Road will be 1.5 km long. Three floors of the station will have covered area of over 4,500 sq m each. An ROB with bowstring design will replace a level crossing and there would be two subways connecting the platforms. There will also be a foot over-bridge connecting the platforms and a pedestrian subway to the jetty,” an official said.
The area surrounding the station will be fenced off and a circle road, circulating area and parking lots will be developed. The bus terminus would accommodate 15 buses and there will also be parking facilities for 50 auto-rickshaws. The parking lot will also accommodate 245 two-wheelers, 15 VIP cars and 160 private cars. There will also be space for 125 taxis.
“The work will be undertaken in two phases. Under the first phase, the station building will be constructed along with a foot over bridge, the circulating area, an additional platform and a pedestrian sub-way connecting the platforms. Basic infrastructural work has already started,” the official added.
Under the second phase, an island platform will be constructed and electrical work such as setting up of escalators, elevators and a sub-station would be completed.