Thiruvananthapuram Central station in the State of Kerala has set a benchmark for a ‘smart’ railway station in terms of modern amenities, efficient services and cleanliness. A report by Arpit Gupta of Elets News Network (ENN)
What all modern amenities are required in a worldclass railway station? Or what makes a railway station ‘smart’? Passengerfriendly services. That’s it!
Some of the essential facilities include automatic escalators, audible announcements, CCTV, automated ticket vending machines, drinking water facility, cleanliness, etc. And, all these facilities are available at Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station. Passengers of all age groups, especially senior citizens, will certainly experience user-friendly facilities here.
If an elder man, woman or handicapped needs a wheelchair at the entrance of the station or an escalator at Platform No.1 to reach any other platform, he/she would be immediately provided the same. In line with ‘Touch and Feel’ concept, escalators for physically challenged and senior citizen have been deployed at the station, which makes it a smart station in true sense.
Besides, cleanliness in every nook and corner of the station is something anybody would have an appreciation for. The platforms remain neat and clean because ‘safai karamcharis’ do dusting and mopping of the station area multiple times a day. Adequate number of dustbins here and there also help keep the station clear of used plastic bottles and wrappers.
Thiruvananthapuram Station Manager Promodh P Shenoi adds that although the railway administration is responsible for cleanliness of the station and upkeep of amenities, it is not possible without citizens’ participation.
Smartness quotient goes higher when one spots automated ticket vending machines installed at the station to reduce burden on ticket windows, adding to the ease of passengers, and CCTV cameras installed at strategic points at the station keep suspicious activities at bay.
TRACKING the Past
- Thiruvananthapuram Central is the main railway station in the city of Thiruvananthapuram (formerly Trivandrum) in the State of Kerala
- Thiruvananthapuram division was formed on 2 October 1979, carving out of Shornur-Cochin Harbour Terminus section from the erstwhile Olavakkot division and Ernakulam– Trivandrum-Kannyakumari section of Madurai division
- The building of the railway station is one of the landmarks of Thiruvananthapuram city
In terms of passenger movement, Thiruvananthapuram Central is the largest and busiest railway station in the State. It is not only an important railway hub of the Southern Railways but also one of the profitable stations under the zone.
At present, as many as 31 pairs of mail, express and superfast trains, and three pairs of passenger trains originate from Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station. Besides, as many as 11 pairs of mail, express and superfast trains, and eight pair of passenger trains passes through the station. The station handles about two lakh passengers every day, a sizeable number of them being daily commuters.
It is also a terminating point for the proposed Chennai-Bangalore-Thiruvananthapuram High Speed Rail (HSR) corridor and the proposed Thiruvananthapuram-Mangalore High Speed Rail corridor
In December 2006 Rail Budget, it was announced to convert Thiruvananthapuram Central station into a world-class one. The foundation stone for expansion and modernisation of station was laid by former Union Minister for Railways Lalu Prasad.
Meera Sanyal, Chairperson – Urban Development Committee, Indian Merchants’ Chamber, asserts that the amenities at Thiruvananthapuram Central Railway Station are efficient enough to tag it ‘smart’. “I am impressed with Thiruvananthapuram station. It is spotless, and has disabled and senior friendly escalators that make it a truly smart station,” says Sanyal.