Indian Railways big infra project to give 110 world-class stations!

In the coming years, as many as 110 railway stations across the country will be turned into swanky airport-like hubs.

In a recent interview with IE, Sanjeev Kumar Lohia, CEO and MD of the Indian Railway Station Development Corporation (IRSDC) talked about the plans to redevelop 110 stations. According to Lohia, the redevelopment of railway stations does not mean just improving its lighting and façade, but complete transformation of railway stations with well-planned entry/exit points, segregated passenger movement and improved road accessibility, similar to airports. Here are 10 interesting things to know about the Indian Railways’ big station redevelopment plan:

1) The railway stations under this project will be transformed into seamlessly connected hubs. Also, adequate waiting rooms will be provided for all classes of passengers and thus, no one will have to sleep on platforms.

2) The waiting rooms at the redeveloped stations will be built at a concourse above the platform which will have retail outlets. Passengers can go to the platform only five to ten minutes prior to their journey.

3) With the redevelopment, the stations will become much safer. They will be fully equipped with CCTVs.

4) Out of the 110 railway stations, 60 stations are being transformed by IRSDC while the rest of the 50 stations are being redeveloped by the Railway Land Redevelopment Authority (RLDA).

5) Around 398 A and A1 category stations have been studied by the Boston Consulting Group – based on land availability, commercial potential, passenger footfall, and the company has prioritized a few stations. The IRSDC is currently working on those priorities.

6) At present, IRSDC had called for a Request for Quotation (RFQ) for Nagpur, Gwalior, Amritsar, and Sabarmati stations. The proposal for Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus has been sent to the ministry for approval, while Surat and Udhna stations are in quite advanced stages and IRSDC is hoping to call for their RFQ soon.

7) Redevelopment work at Habibganj station has been completed 80% and the station will be ready for operations by the month of April. The work at Gandhinagar station will end in the next few months.

8) The first 50 railway stations will be bid out on the PPP model for the redevelopment with funding through land monetization along with user charges, which will be a nominal fixed amount, part of the ticket price.

9) According to Lohia, the pre-bid meeting saw participation from 9 funds, at least 40 consultants and 17 developers. The lease period of land/area where residential development is being done has been increased to 99 years as against 15 years.

10) On the other hand, the lease for commercial development has increased from 45 years to 60 years. Moreover, a single-window clearance has been made available to further ease out the process.

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