Indian Railways and South Central Railway (SCR) seem to have decided to go ahead with construction of the fourth passenger terminal at Charlapalli on the 50 acres of land owned by the organisation, without waiting for the State government to provide the additional 200 acres.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal laying the foundation stone for the estimated ₹230-crore fourth major passenger terminal for the twin cities is a clear indicator and tenders too have been finalised to an extent of ₹117.25 crore to take up works in two phases.
Considering the clogged Secunderabad, Kacheguda and Nampally stations, the new terminal was proposed five years ago but it was only last year that the Railway Board cleared the project and, due to the limited land availability, the zonal railway decided to curtail the grand plans of having 10 platforms to a more realistic six platforms besides four pit-lines for maintenance, said senior officials.
This could be sufficient for MMTS trains only whenever phase II works are completed as the station lies on the route towards Ghatkesar and towards Yadadri, another 30 km. But it again depends on availability of funds, considering that the Minister himself had mentioned the ₹450 crore pending from the TS government for expediting the work.
Hence, senior officials indicate that Charlapalli, 12.48 km from Secunderabad, could become the premier terminal station for the proposed private trains as the Railway Board is planning to have daily trains towards Panvel, Shalimar, Chennai, Varanasi and Srikakulam. Future expansion could be made when additional land is available, they said.
The station is just 8 km from the Outer Ring Road (ORR) and is convenient for embarking or disembarking of passengers instead of moving into the city and commuting in the traffic to reach home.
The SCR is planning to take up works in two phases: in the first phase of ₹54.58 crore, two high level platforms, water and sewage provisions, effluent treatment plant, etc.; in the second phase of ₹62.67 crore, station building, approach roads, a couple of foot-overbridges, five escalators, nine lifts, pit lanes, laundry and so on are to be done. These works are to take up to two years, according to senior officials.
The Railways had also sought land near Hi-Tec City/Vattinagulapally for another terminal a decade ago, which did not fructify, and it had spent ₹30 crore to develop the Lingampally station moving some trains as terminal point to de-congest the Secunderabad station.