Hong Kong-based architectural firm, Terry Farrell and Partners would be signing the agreement with the railway ministry next week for preparing the concept plan for the modernisation of New Delhi railway station.
According to official sources, under the plan, to be submitted by the firm by January 2008, the company would have to look at the possibilities of providing facilities like setting up spatial segregation of facilities at different floor levels for smooth passenger flow.
Apart from this, other facilities like segregation of incoming and outgoing passengers, major facilities at first floor or underground concourse level, and direct vehicular access to the concourse would also have to be suggested by the company.
Ticket counters and other facilities at concourse level, escalators and lifts to improve access to station platforms, walkways to facilitate passenger movement and platforms to be made free of stalls etc. would also have to be provided for under the plan.
Ministry officials say that once the firm prepares the concept plan, the ministry would then invite bids from companies to take up the modernisation work based on it.
Sources say that the challenge would be to complete the modernisation work by the first half of 2010, as the Commonwealth Games are scheduled to start later that year. The firm officials on their part, when contacted, however refused to elaborate on what kind of changes they would be visualising for the station.
"We are indeed the lead consultant of the consortium to design the master plan for renovation of the New Delhi Railway Station but we have just started the design work of the project. So no project information is available at the moment," said the senior project director of the firm, Felix Li in an e-mail response.
Initially, the ministry had received six bids from consultants for the modernisation. These, apart from Terry Farrel and Partners Ltd, included France based-Arep Ville, German firm Von Gerkan Marg and Partners, Hok International (Hong Kong), Aedis Ltd (Hong Kong) and RITES from India.
At present, Delhi station handles an average of 3.5 lakh passengers per day. Every day 256 trains, including 78 suburban trains, arrive or depart from 12 existing platforms of this station.
Right now, four new platforms are being constructed on the ground in addition to a new administrative block, which will be ready by middle of 2008.