With Poila Baisakh round the corner, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is gearing up to open an executive lounge for its passengers at Sealdah station on 15 April, the Bengali New Year. The lounge, as it is first of its kind in Eastern India, is expected to give comfort to distant travellers, according to railway officials.
The executive lounge will offer all the homely comforts to passengers arriving in the city in the morning and departing in the evening. Railway commuters will be able to enjoy a few hours of relaxation by paying a nominal hourly charge. “The area in close vicinity to Sealdah Station offers hardly any good hotels,” claimed an official of IRCTC.
“Also the approach to Sealdah is very clumsy. Hence the idea is to provide better comfort to the passengers at nominal rates which otherwise has to be availed at higher costs by checking in at the hotels,” he added.
The luxurious resting area, as informed by an official of IRCTC, has been carefully planned to provide the best amenities to travellers. To enable the passengers easily spot the location, the lounge has been strategically developed at the main station building on the first floor overlooking the station.
Spread over an area of 2500 square feet, it includes a resting area, a food court, a reading corner in the form of a small library, cloak room and two bathrooms.
For ease of the passengers, particularly the elderly and physically challenged, all sections have been designed on the same floor. The railway authorities are trying to provide a home-like relaxation to passengers. Distant travellers will not only be able to take bath and have good food, they will also be able to take rest on recliners by paying additional charges. An IRCTC official highlighted, “The number of recliners is still to be decided. However, initially the count will be lesser, and will later be increased according to the demand.”
The lounge does not only have lift facility but is also wheel chair friendly. With the lift opening directly into the lounge, the entire space has been designed in way to ensure that the physically challenged and elderly have to face minimum trouble.
Additionally, a huge cloak room is also being constructed to enable them to go for shopping or do other works without having to worry about their luggage. Delicious snacks will also be provided to passengers without charging any extra amount.
Keeping the travellers from the business community in mind, a conference room with including space for 15 guests at a time is also being developed. While wifi and television will be provided for additional entertainment, a library area for offering good reading experience to the bibliophiles will also be included.