Passengers travelling long distance on Konkan railway could face local transport problems once Konkan Railway Corporation's (KRC) new railway station begins functioning.
KRC is planning a new station approximately 5 km from the existing Margao station in the village of Sao Jose de Areal, bordering Dicarpale, to decongest Margao railway station. The new station will serve several passenger trains.
KRC senior public relations manager Baban Ghatge said, "The new station will have all passenger amenities and facilities similar to those at Margao railway station. Several mail and express trains will originate and terminate at this station," Ghatge added.
Since the station will be outside Margao municipal limits and Goa's public transport system leaves much to be desired, there are fears that passenger access to the railway station could be limited.
Ghatge sought to allay apprehensions that the new station will inconvenience passengers. "The site is located meters away from the Don Khuris bus stop along Margao-Quepem road which has an efficient public transport system," Ghatge said.
Explaining further, Ghatge said, "The purpose of setting up a new station is to decongest traffic movement at Margao railway station. The new station will serve as a junction connecting KR and South Western railway (SWR) routes by a proposed bypass line of approximately 800m, which will be laid to connect the two routes between the new station and Chandor. This will facilitate direct switching of routes by trains thus avoiding the shunting process and bypassing Margao station. Currently, for a train to switch routes at Margao station, three lines get engaged for almost two-and-a-half hours."
Margao railway station currently handles 50 trains per day-40 passenger trains and nearly ten freight trains. Traffic could rise considerably by the time the new station gets operational, which is likely to be two years from now. Sources said the proposed station project is yet to get off the drawing board stage as the architectural drawings are yet to be finalized.
Ghatge told TOI that landfilling at the site has started and that KRC has submitted a proposal to the Goa government for acquisition of additional land for the purpose. The new railway station is yet to be christened, though for administrative purposes it is being called 'Sarzora'
KRC has started the spadework on land which is in its possession. It has requisitioned acquisition of more land for the lines and the bypass line totaling 1,88,145 sq m from the state government. The station building will come up on 1,200 sq m of land, and KRC has already sanctioned funds amounting to Rs 9.5 cr for the project, sources said.
As the new station is located near the existing manned level crossing near Dicarpale, KRC plans to close down the level crossing and construct a flyover so as to facilitate smooth movement of vehicular traffic.
KRC has also written to the state government requesting to hand over 3,530 sq m of land, which is already in the latter's possession, to facilitate construction of additional 2-3 platforms on the Aquem-side of the Margao railway station, besides an additional booking counter towards the Aquem end. Currently, Margao station has three platforms. [TOI]