The Pune division of railways will spend Rs 50 lakh to give the exteriors of Jejuri railway station, about 50 kilometres from the city, the look of the famous Khandoba temple as part of an initiative of the railways to give makeover to stations drawing inspiration from local temples and historical structures.
Jejuri, a small municipal town in Pune district, which houses the temple of Lord Khandoba, will be the first such station in Pune division, officials said. “Understanding the importance of religious and historical heritage, the railways have taken an initiative to turn stations located in towns with important shrines to resemble them so as to attract tourists. Jejuri is famous for its Khandoba temple and everyday thousands of devotees visit the town. Pune division has planned to give this station on the Pune-Satara line a makeover. We have also started several other projects at this station to give passengers better service,” said a statement released by the railways’ Pune division.
“By May 2019, the work of converting the exteriors of the Jejuri railway station to look like the temple will be completed. The work will be done at an expenditure of Rs 50 lakh,” said Milind Deouskar, Divisional Railway Manager, Pune.
In February 2018, Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha had announced that the reconstruction of the Ayodhya railway station in Uttar Pradesh would be done in a manner that it “looks like the grand Ram temple that’s to be built in the town”, which is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Ram. The railways have reportedly allocated Rs 80 crore for this.
Railway officials with the Pune division said that apart from redoing the exteriors of the Jejuri station, other infrastructure works such as extension of platform No. 1 to host 24-coach trains and increasing the height of the platform were also being done and expected to be finished by March this year.
“Apart from this, the access road to the station and the area around the main entrance are also being redone. The system for supply of drinking water is being revamped and a new water filter plant being set up, which will be ready by June. A total of Rs 2.25 crore is being spent on these works,” said an official, adding that an additional platform would be constructed at the Jejuri station as part of doubling the Pune-Miraj rail line.
Sunil Udasi, Chief Public Relations Officer, Central Railway, said that the thrust of the railways was on beautification of its stations. “Similar beautification projects are being undertaken at other stations such as Melghat, Chandrapur and Shegaon, where local culture is being displayed at the stations. We are taking the help of local artistes for this,” said Udasi.