There was a rush of crowd at the Platform-1, as the Mewar Express from Delhi Nizamuddin station just arrived at Udaipur station.
Since it is the tourist season, other platforms are also equally witnessing arrivals and departures of many mail/express trains with hordes of passengers, mostly tourists, throughout the day.
However, amid the regular train movement, a massive redevelopment work is going on at the rail premise to transform Udaipur station in the North Western zone to a world class one, to cater to the increasing number of passengers to the ‘City of Lakes’.
The redevelopment of Udaipur station, with the design inspired by the heritage of Mewar and incorporating modernity, is being carried out at a cost of Rs 306 crore, under the Amrit Bharat scheme.
“There are about 250 workers on the job round the clock to complete the work by October 2025,” said the site manager, adding, “Its design is unique, and a roof plaza over the platforms being built here will be one of the largest in the country.”
Nilesh, a helper, is among 250 workers, who are in Udaipur for the last three months.
“My father and sister are also with me as workers for the project. We will go back to our village in Madhya Pradesh during the Holi festival and come back after the festival to earn our livelihood here,” Nilesh said.
Redeveloped at an area of 86,248 sq metre, the whole area is being divided in five zones for better coordination and speedy execution.
The west (front) side building of the station is a ground+3 structure with a built-up area of 5,989 sqm and with one level basement parking facility, while the east (rear) side building is a g+3 structure with a built-up area of 5,824 sqm.
North Western Railway general manager, Amitabh said, “We are redeveloping the Udaipur station as a world class station with improved passenger amenities. Udaipur being a tourist city, the redeveloped station will meet all the requirements. The infrastructure is being built keeping the growth of the city in mind for the next 40 years.”
The redeveloped station will also have an unreserved waiting area, an executive waiting area, retail stalls, restrooms, a baggage scanner, and coach indicators, among other facilities.
Jyoti Kumar, a carpenter from Madhepura from Bihar, is a skilled worker employed by the contractor for the project. “I know my job well and it is an opportunity for me to utilise my skill here,” said a confidant Jyoti.
Currently catering to about 60 trains with about 19,000 passengers at five platforms in a day, the redeveloped station is aiming for more than 30,000 passengers with more trains in a day.
Nand Kishore, a local artisan involved in handicraft goods, is running a shop at the station under ’one station one product’ initiative of the Indian Railways.
There are about 50 items including wooden toys, marble lamp, dinner glass, Kathputli and many others. “I was born here and involved in the handicraft trade for many years as my forefathers were also in the same profession. This shop is giving us good opportunities for income,“ said Nand Kishore.
Asked about the prospects of his shop in the future as the station is undergoing massive construction work, an excited Nand Kishore said, “there will be tremendous scope for further expansion of the shop as more and more tourists will come here in future.”
As per the plan, the station will have ample parking space, several arrival and departure gates and strict security checks.
A 72-metre-wide concourse space will be available in the station. There will be 20 new lifts and 26 escalators will be available in the station building for ease.
Since the construction of station building and parking lots are in full swing, there is safety protocol in place to prevent any mishap at the work site.
“We are very strict on safety protocol as everybody here is to abide by the safety rules,“ said Suresh Jangrid, safety manager of the project.
No one is allowed to enter the site without wearing safety gear including a helmet. The redeveloped station envisages connecting the current two footbridges via a skywalk.
In order to ensure quality in the construction materials, a quality lab is operational at the site. “All raw materials, cement, water and other materials used in the construction are being tested at the laboratory to ensure that no sub-standard materials are being used,“ said quality manager Abhisek Kumar. There are a total of nine people at the quality lab to check every material before being used.
The station will use renewable energy sources, like waste processing and rainwater harvesting.
The idea is to incorporate green building technology, with various elements to reduce energy consumption during construction, operation and maintenance. There will be a sewage treatment plant (450 kilo-litres per day-KLD) and rain water harvesting with (2×250 KLD capacity).
While the new station building is being planned to cater to the expected passenger traffic of 39,725 per day in the next 40 years, there would be provision of separate entry and exit for the passengers. The station will also have green energy, as provision of solar panels of 2,020 kilo-watt capacity is expected to be created.
The 72 m wide air concourse, with an area of 5,203 sqm, will connect the west and east buildings over and across the five platforms with seating capacity of 1,000 passengers.
Since the city will attract a higher number of tourists in the future, an adequate parking facility at both sides covering an area of 11,433 sqm of the station area is being created to address the issue.
There will be provisions of IPIS (audio, video information to passengers), surveillance (CCTV), access control, PA systems etc at the redeveloped station.
In addition to a waiting area with retail on ground, and the air concourse, there will be an exclusive façade exhibiting the local heritage and culture.
“The landscaping of the station building will reflect the local art and culture,” said the site manager.