South Eastern Railway (SER) authorities have set March 31 as the deadline for the second entrance to Tatanagar aimed at even distribution of passenger pressure on the A-category station.
Officials at Garden Reach, Calcutta, said the order had come directly from the desk of SER general manager A.K. Verma and was likely to give momentum to the tardy pace of infrastructure development for the new gate, which Tatanagar hopes to throw open in April.
After Howrah, Tatanagar is the second busiest station of SER with a daily footfall of over 50,000 passengers. During peak hours, the crowd is maddening in front of ticket counters, which often threatens to affect arrival and departure schedules of trains.
To end this chaos, work on the second entrance began last year with the objective to offer smooth passage to the station from Sakchi, Golmuri, Baridih, Sidhgora, Telco, Tinplate, Agrico and a few other localities.
This second gate was the brainchild of erstwhile divisional railway manager of Chakradharpur Achal Khare, who designed the project blueprint and had it approved by the Railway Board. The landscaped entrance area will boast ticket counters, a fountain, a parking lot for 200 cars and as many two-wheelers, an auto stand and public lavatories. A proposed footbridge from Burmamines-end is expected to connect the different platforms.
The engineering and construction wing is executing the project, requisite funds ' an estimated Rs 2 crore ' for which has already been sanctioned by the Railway Board.
Around 150 railway quarters, located close to Star Talkies in Burmamines, have been demolished to pave way for the second entrance. Railway authorities also sought permission from the forest department to fell trees for development of the necessary infrastructure.
"The second entry to Tatanagar is an ambitious project. Necessary efforts will be made to ensure that the project gets completed within the stipulated deadline. The work will gain momentum if we get a nod from the commissioner of railway safety for converting an abandoned bridge into a footbridge," said K.N. Biswas, senior divisional commercial manager of Chakradharpur division.
At present, passengers cross a new overbridge to reach Tatanagar via Station Road, not an easy journey considering the traffic snarls caused by encroaching vegetable vendors.
Station authorities promised that they would leave no stone unturned to finish the project on time. "If things move in the right earnest, the gate will be thrown open to public in April," a Tatanagar official said.