37 railway stations from state among 508 to be spruced up; BJP welcomes move

BJP leaders in West Bengal on Sunday welcomed the Centre’s initiative to redevelop 37 railway stations in the state as part of a nation-wide project to modernise 508 such stations. The leaders also hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for virtually laid the the foundation stone for redevelopment of the railway stations on Sunday under the ‘Amrit Bharat Station Scheme’.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said the redevelopment of the 37 stations in the state will cost the Centre around Rs 1,503 crore, while the total cost of modernising the 508 stations would be Rs 24,470 crore.

The railway stations to be redeveloped in Bengal include Sealdah, Asansol, Bolpur, Malda Town, New Mal and New Alipurduar. The PM said that apart from giving modern facilities to the passengers, the redeveloped stations will reflect the history and heritage of the place.

Leader of Opposition in state Assembly Suvendu Adhikari said that by including 37 stations from Bengal in the project, the Prime Minister has proved that “he does not do politics, but follows raj dharma”. “West Bengal is among the top states which have gotten a major share of the project for redeveloping 508 stations across the country. Instead of sitting on dharnas, the TMC should hold thanksgiving for the Prime Minister,” said Adhikari while taking a dig at the ruling party in the state for holding a statewide agitation on Sunday over non-payment of monetary dues to the state by the Centre.

West Bengal Governor C V Ananda Bose was present at Sealdah station, one of the busiest railway stations in the country, during the programme.

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MLAs Sreerupa Mitra Chaudhury and Gopal Saha, English Bazar municipality chairman Krishnendu Narayan Chowdhury and Malda DRM Bikash Chowbey were present at Malda Town station, which is also among the 37 stations to be redeveloped. “Tendering for the project at Malda town station has already been done and it will be completed by next January or February at a cost of Rs 40 crore,” Chowbey told mediapersons.

At Asansol station, which will be redeveloped at a cost of Rs 401 crore, divisional railway manager C Singh and local BJP MLA Agnimitra Paul were present for the ceremony.

The ‘Amrit Bharat Station Scheme’ was launched to redevelop 1,309 stations, of which foundation laying was done for 508 stations on Sunday. The facilities intended to be developed at the stations include foot-overbridges, escalators and elevators, two-wheeler and car parking areas, landscaping/horticulture, integrated passenger information system, and CCTVs, among others. .