India is definitely on a successful mission when it comes to modernizing the Indian Railways. With Bullet train corridors and Vande Bharat Trains, coupled with many modernizing programs to upgrade Railways India, has jumped on a rocket to a modern public transit system. One of the integral parts of the Indian Railways is its railway stations. Railway citations are like pit stops, where the trains halt so passengers can board or deboard the train.
Railway stations in India have always been integral to the country’s transportation system, serving as lifelines for millions. To enhance the travel experience and provide top-notch facilities, the Ministry of Railways launched the Amrit Bharat Station Scheme (ABSS) on December 27, 2022. This nationwide initiative aims to revamp railway stations across various states, offering elevated amenities and creating vibrant community spaces within stations.
The Amrit Bharat Station Scheme marks a significant shift in the approach towards station development. It goes beyond the provision of Minimum Essential Amenities (MEA) and focuses on tailor-made Master Plans for each station. By analyzing passenger needs and prioritizing stakeholder requirements, ABSS ensures optimal resource allocation and a comprehensive transformation of railway stations.
Amrit Bharat Scheme Objectives
- Top Class Facilities: The scheme looks to enhance the quality of amenities provided at railway stations. It goes beyond the bare essentials and focuses on offering passengers a truly elevated experience. From upgraded waiting halls to well-equipped cafeterias and retail facilities, ABSS aims to provide top-notch amenities that cater to the varying needs of passengers.
- Comfortable Relaxing Spaces: The Amrit Bharat Station Scheme envisions the creation of roof plazas and city centers within railway stations. These spaces will serve as vibrant community areas, providing passengers and locals with a place to relax, socialize, and engage in various activities. Integrating these spaces within stations will transform them into more than just transportation hubs.
- Enhancement Of New Amenities: The scheme focuses on introducing new amenities and upgrading or replacing existing ones. This includes the provision of executive lounges, spaces for small business meetings, and the allocation of “One Station One Product” stalls to promote regional products and economies. By enhancing the overall quality of amenities, ABSS aims to create a more enjoyable and convenient travel experience.
- Stakeholder Requirements: ABSS prioritizes stakeholder needs by conducting extensive station usage studies. By understanding the requirements of various stakeholders, including passengers, railway staff, and local communities, the scheme ensures that the redevelopment efforts are aligned with their expectations. This approach allows for optimized resource allocation and a more inclusive development process.
- Feasibility-based Selection: Stations chosen for redevelopment under the Amrit Bharat Station Scheme undergo comprehensive techno-economic feasibility studies. This ensures that the selected stations are suitable for redevelopment and that the proposed improvements are viable and sustainable. The scheme considers various factors, such as passenger traffic, infrastructure requirements, and financial viability, before finalizing the list of stations for redevelopment.
- Phased Implementation: Amrit Bharat Station Scheme adopts a phased approach to the execution of Master Plans. This involves structural and utility relocations to create optimal station layouts. By implementing the redevelopment in a phased manner, the scheme aims to minimize disruptions to regular station operations and ensure a smooth transition to the upgraded facilities.
- Spaces for Local Shops: “One Product One Station”: To promote local entrepreneurship and showcase regional products, the scheme can create dedicated spaces for local shops at each station. The “One Product One Station” concept can be implemented, where each station offers a unique local product, promoting traditional craftsmanship and supporting local businesses.
- Segregated Business Meeting Area: Recognizing the importance of railway stations as hubs of economic activity, a segregated business meeting area can be established within each station. This space can be a convenient location for business travelers to hold meetings, negotiations, and discussions, contributing to the growth of regional business activities.
- Focus on Indian Art and Culture: Emphasizing Indian art and culture in station design and decor can enhance the aesthetic appeal of railway stations. Incorporating artwork, sculptures, and cultural exhibitions can provide passengers with a cultural experience and promote India’s rich heritage.
- Implementation of Sustainable Development: In addition to emphasizing green practices, a broader focus on sustainable development can be integrated into the scheme. This can include rainwater harvesting, solar power generation, waste management, and other sustainable initiatives to reduce the ecological footprint of railway stations.
- Kids Playing Zone: To create a more family-friendly environment, a dedicated playing zone for children can be established at each station. This will not only improve the passenger experience for families but also contribute to the overall attractiveness of the station as a leisure destination.
- Promotion of Regional Cuisine and Food Courts: Encouraging regional cuisine and local food vendors within the station premises can provide passengers with a diverse culinary experience. The creation of food courts featuring authentic regional dishes can boost tourism and offer a taste of India’s culinary diversity.
Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav: Amrit Bharat Station Scheme Details
Which major stations are included under ABSS?
The Amrit Bharat Stations Scheme, launched in February 2023 by the Ministry of Railways, is a monumental undertaking aimed at transforming and revitalizing India’s railway stations. The scheme includes the redevelopment of 1275 railway stations, spanning 27 states and union territories. These redeveloped stations are not only intended to offer modern passenger amenities but also to showcase the local culture and heritage of each region, making them truly unique transportation hubs. The scheme focuses on integrating urban development principles, promoting sustainability, and improving the overall travel experience.
|S.No||Name of the State||No Of Stations Identified|
|1||Uttar Pradesh (UP)||149|
Amrit Bharat Scheme Progress
The Amrit Bharat Station Scheme is being implemented in phases, with the first phase targeting the redevelopment of 508 railway stations. On August 6, 2023, PM Narendra Modi inaugurated the redevelopment of these stations, highlighting the government’s commitment to modernizing railway infrastructure and improving the travel experiences of passengers across the country. The scheme has been allocated a budget exceeding Rs 25,000 crores demonstrating the government’s dedication to transforming railway stations into world-class facilities.
Challenges Faced By Amrit Bharat Scheme
- Funding: Redeveloping 1275 railway stations is a massive financial undertaking. Securing the necessary funding and managing the costs efficiently will be a significant challenge.
- Coordination: Coordinating such a vast and complex project across 27 states and union territories could present logistical challenges. Ensuring that all stakeholders work together smoothly will be essential.
- Land Acquisition: Land acquisition for expanding and redeveloping stations can be a lengthy and challenging process involving legal, environmental, and community considerations.
- Maintaining Operations: During the redevelopment, maintaining the normal operations of these stations could be a logistical challenge. Passenger services need to continue while construction is ongoing.
- Environmental Impact: While the scheme aims for environmental sustainability, the construction process may have an environmental impact. Minimizing this impact and ensuring that the redeveloped stations are truly eco-friendly could be challenging.
- Community Engagement: Incorporating the local community’s input and representing the region’s essence in the station’s design may require effective community engagement and consultation.
- Infrastructure Upgrades: Ensuring that all necessary infrastructure upgrades, such as electricity, water supply, and waste management, are carried out efficiently and do not lead to delays or cost overruns will be crucial.
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The Amrit Bharat Station Scheme is a game-changer for railway stations in India. With its focus on elevated amenities, vibrant community spaces, and stakeholder needs, the scheme aims to elevate passenger travel experience across the country. From enhanced entrances to improved infrastructure, the redevelopment efforts under ABSS are set to create modern, convenient, and visually appealing stations. The impact will be felt nationwide as the scheme progresses and more stations undergo redevelopment. The transformation of railway stations in Bihar, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, and other states is just the beginning of a larger vision to modernize India’s railway infrastructure.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q) In which state Amrit Bharat Scheme is implemented?
Ans: The Amrit Bharat Scheme is implemented in all the states, with each state having some selected stations that are included in the first phase of development under the Amrit Bharat Scheme.
Q) How will Amrit Bharat Stations Scheme accommodate passengers with special needs and disabilities?
Ans: The scheme is committed to providing an inclusive and accessible environment for all passengers. We have designed stations with barrier-free access, ramps, elevators, and tactile pavements to aid disabled individuals. Additionally, dedicated assistance counters and staff trained in disability assistance.