Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu yesterday launched the first phase of the Station Redevelopment Programme comprising 23 major railway stations across the country.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Prabhu said the Railways have certain advantages out of which one is holding of land on a large scale. A railway station is a place where lots of people wait to board a train and thus it could be developed into an iconic property, he said.
The properties of the Railways have unique characteristics. The Ministry of Urban Development is collaborating with the Railways Ministry to develop smart stations, a pre-requisite for a smart city, he said.
The project of re-developing 400 A1 and A Category Stations in the country is the biggest non-fare revenue generating programme which will be done on PPP model through a fair bidding system conducted by the respective Zonal Railways, he added.
In the first phase, 23 stations will be bid out and redeveloped to the fullest use where so many facilities can be enjoyed by the passengers at one place.
He also directed all the General Managers/DRM through video conferencing to collaborate with the State Governments for re-development of stations.
Railway Board Chairman A.K. Mital said that the Board’s efforts for the last 10 years will see a culmination as the first lot of stations are taken up for redevelopment through public-private partnership. These stations have been selected for this phase after detailed feasibility studies carried out by The Boston Consulting Group, the strategic advisers for the programme.
Railways mission is to redevelop railway stations using the surplus revenue that will be generated from commercial development of spare railway land, he added.
The 400 stations to be redeveloped will provide amenities and services to the passengers in line with best in class railway stations. The stations will be redeveloped through public-private-partnership (PPP) model without straining Railways' finances, he said.
In the first phase, 23 stations will be bid out. They include Chennai Central, Ranchi, Udaipur City, Indore, Yesvantpur, Bangalore Cantt., Visakhapatnam, Howrah, Kamakhya, Faridabad, Jammu Tawi, Secunderabad, Vijayawada, Kozhikode and Bhopal.