Indian Railways Tirupati station to be developed into world-class hub! Under the Guntakal division of the South Coast Railway (SCR) zone in the state of Andhra Pradesh, the Tirupati railway station is slated to become a world-class station by 2023. The Tirupati station redevelopment plan is being executed by the Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA), which is a government agency for the development of unused land. The SCR zone has proposed the redevelopment of the Tirupati station by involving private players as it will be based on the PPP model by NBCA and RLDA.
Due to the Tirumala Tirupati Balaji temple situated in the city, the Tirupati station receives a high footfall of railway passengers on a regular basis. According to Alok Tiwari, DRM, Guntakal Division, the station receives a massive footfall of one lakh passengers and visitors on a daily basis. The total number of running train lines are 13 with five platforms spread across the station. Additionally, three more platforms have been proposed to be constructed.
For the Tirupati redevelopment program by RLDA, the Tirupati East station or the Tiruchanoor station has been planned for improvement and expansion. The Tirupati East station is being aimed for development so as to decongest the main Tirupati station. Under this, budget hotels and multiplexes have also been proposed to be a part of the stations. Budget hotels will be a new facility for Indian Railways passengers willing to stay near the station to those who are looking for quick accomodation.
The Tirupati East station is being planned to be developed on PPP model and hence, will eventually involve private players for the development plan. The south side terminal building of Tirupati East will be construed with a multiplex with the budget hotel block. This side of the station will have waiting area, food complex, concourse area and separate platform levels for arriving and departing passengers.
This entire redevelopment plan is still in the tendering process. IRCTC may also be roped in for the execution of the plan, said Tiwari.
Some of the existing modern amenities which have been made available at the Tirupati station are as follows:
1. Open waiting halls at the Tirupati station have been provided with steel benches in spacious, ventilated areas for the convenience of passengers
2. The station has airport-style lighting as it has been illuminated with LED lights at several locations
3. A premium air conditioned waiting lounge, ‘Atithi’ has been built at the station which is available for all passengers at a cost of Rs 50 per hour. Atithi lounge offers state-of-the art plush sofas, recliners and washrooms for both men and women.
4. Lifts, escalators, foot over bridges and retiring rooms have been built at several areas of the station, to facilitate passengers for moving from one platform to the other
5. The entry walls of the station have been adorned with the mural depiction of ‘seven incarnations of Lord Vishnu’
6. The walls of open waiting halls, ladies waiting hall and AC waiting rooms have been adorned with local folk art which are symbolic of the historical Dravidian architecture representing Southern culture. The aesthetics are reflective of the nearby temples of Tirupati.
7. The station is under 24-7 security and surveillance of Railway Protection Force (RPF) officials who manage the passenger crowd on platforms and conduct security checks at entry and exit points
The Tirupati station has been awarded as 1 GBC ‘gold rated’ green railway station in April 2019. It has also achieved A1 category in the QCI survey for cleanest railway stations of India. The monumental national flag, Indian tricolour, around 100 feet high has been installed at the main entry of the station.
(The reporter is in Andhra Pradesh on the invitation of the Ministry of Railways)