As part of its initiative to decongest New Delhi railway station ahead of the Commonwealth Games next year, Railways have decided to open the upcoming Anand Vihar mega railway terminal within the next two weeks.
The terminal will be integrated with the inter-state bus terminus, located close by, and the Anand Vihar Delhi Metro station which is expected to be inaugurated by December end, thus transforming the area into a major transportation hub.
The swanky-looking station terminal, handling East-bound trains, is expected to reduce the burden from New Delhi station considerably and reduce traffic congestion.
Sources in the Railway Ministry said the terminal would be inaugurated by railway minister Mamata Banerjee before the ongoing winter session of Parliament comes to an end.
They said by the time of the commencement of the Commonwealth Games in October 2010, several trains to East would have been shifted to the Anand Vihar terminal.
The Rs 240-crore station project, complete with modern amenities like ATM, foreign exchange counters and touch-screen enquiry system, will open with three platforms and a state-of-the-art coach maintenance yard in the first phase.
Railways have already announced two trains from the terminal to West Bengal in this year's Railway Budget.
The terminal, being developed as a green field project, will have many firsts to its credit, including earning the distinction of being the only station in the country having a station yard for loading and unloading parcels.
Anand Vihar will be the only station in the country where loading and unloading of parcels, linen and food items will be carried out at the station yard and not in the platform as per the prevailing practise to keep the platforms clean, the sources said.
The other objective of the station is to decongest New Delhi station which at present is operating to its capacity.
The station was cleared for public use by the Commissioner of Railway Safety on October 20.
The entire complex is spread over 42 acres and will have seven platforms in total and handle over three lakh passengers daily and as many as 270 trains when it is fully operational, the sources said.
Northern Railway is also developing two other major terminals on the periphery of the capital. While one of them is coming up at Bijwasan, the other is being set up at Holambi Kalan.