In the re-development programme being planned to execute under public-private partnership (PPP) model, the private developers will be given away railway land for commercial exploitation and the revenue will be used to fund redevelopment of the railways stations. A land parcel of 2.25 acres near Bangalore Cantonment railway station and 20 acres attached to Yeshwanthpur railway station have been earmarked for the monetisation programme of the railway properties.
Railways minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu on Wednesday launched the redevelopment programme, through a video conference, under which 23 railway stations across India are to be redeveloped, in the first phase. Bangalore Cantonment railway station and Yeshwanthpur railway station are among the stations chosen for the first phase modernisation programme.
In the second and third phase, 380 more stations have been proposed to be re-developed and railway officials said 15 stations in Karnataka including Bengaluru City railway station, Kengeri, Belagavi, Ballari, Vijayapura, Dharwad, and Davanagere railway stations would be included in the second and third phase.
“We are looking at innovative models to redevelop railway stations and the main emphasis is on the PPP model. The benefit is mutual. It would be a great opportunity for the builders, great opportunity for the passengers to enjoy world class facility, and great opportunity for the Railways to ramp up its revenues,” said Prabhu before launching the programme.
As per the programme, the private builder will be given the land on lease for 45 years and builder will develop the land and transit orient development at the railway station. The developer has to surrender the station to the Railways after 15 years of its redevelopment.
“We have reached out to all industry players and the private investment will help the Railways grow stronger,” said the minister.
He said the ministry of Railways was looking at all possible modes including unsolicited bidding akin to Swiss Challenge. “It is an innovative idea which people call Swiss Challenge. We want to call it India Challenge,” Prabhu added.
He said the ministry of Railways had requested the Union ministry of urban development to include redevelopment of railway station in its smart city scheme. The state governments have also been asked to be involved in the railway station redevelopment programme.
Builders lined up
The ministry of Railways has approached the city’s main real estate player for the redevelopment of Bangalore Cantonment and Yeshwanthpur railway stations. Representatives of Prestige, Brigade, Puravankara, Embassy, Godrej Properties and Larsen & Toubro (L&T) were present at the meeting held at the divisional office of South West Railway in Bengaluru, when Prabhu launched the railway station redevelopment programme.
A K Gupta, general manager of South West Railway, said the applications from the bidders have been called and the last date to fill the application is June 1, 2017. The bidders have to give their plan for the redevelopment of the railway stations and the best bidder will be asked to prepare a details project report (DPR). “Based on the DPR we will initiate tendering process,” Gupta said.
He said a tentative time frame for modernising the Cantonment and Yeshwanthpur railway stations is three years.
Getting the face lift, the railway station will have world class facility for the passengers. The swanky stations will have digital signages, escalators, conveyer belts for luggage, executive lounges, free and paid Wi-Fi options, battery operated buggies, paid mobile washrooms, food courts, entertainment facilities, and ATMs among others.
“Our objective is to make railway stations are going to be better than the airport terminals,” Gupta claimed.