Much awaited redevelopment of Amritsar railway station is progressing fast, but amidst some controversies. The latest controversy is regarding the demolition of a 160 year-old building which has evoked strong resentment among the local activists. However, according to railway officials, there was no other way to redevelop the railway station without demolishing this old structure. The building which served in the past as passengers’ waiting room and ticket booking counter was in utter dilapidated condition. However, part of the structure, viz., 12 gates, chaali Khooh (40 wells), the summer palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Ram Bagh garden would be preserved.
Modernisation of Amritsar started in 2017 and the work is progressing well with completion scheduled for 2019 end. The central ministry of railway has sanctioned ₹12 crore to transform the Amritsar railway station into a model railway station. Modernisation plan includes renovating the waiting hall, improving the circulating area, information displaying mediums and lighting.
Amritsar railway station is one of the oldest stations and also one of the busiest stations. The station which is more than one and half centuries old is known for its brick masonry and horse-shoe type arches. The station is the first railway station in the state to be WiFi-enabled.