Central station to witness development

By R Chitra Published on Feb 09, 2017 10:27 AM IST

Chennai: Chennai Central will not be the same in the days to come now. For the development works that are going to take place there are sure to change its face in the days to come.

According to sources, Union Railway Ministry has also unveiled the unveiled the station redevelopment programme. The programme inaugurated by Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu yesterday, aims at redeveloping about 400 railway stations across the country in partnership with private players.

Chennai Central Railway Station is going to witness development in the first phase of the programme.

In the first phase, about 23 stations are included that will be bid out. A few of them are Ranchi, Udaipur City, Indore, Yesvantpur, Bangalore Cantt., Visakhapatnam, Howrah, Kamakhya, Faridabad, Jammu Tawi, Secunderabad, Vijayawada, Kozhikode and Bhopal.

Chennai Egmore and Madurai railway stations are to be developed in the second phase. A total of 50 stations in Southern Railway will be redeveloped, out of them about 27 railway stations come under Tamilnadu.

The stations once redeveloped will have amenities that can provide services to the passengers in line with best in class railway stations. The amenities are like digital signage, escalators/elevators, self ticketing counters, executive lounges, luggage screening machines, walkways, holding areas for passengers, grand and distinctive roofing and flooring, free and paid Wi-Fi.

Chennai Central is one of the 23 A1 and A stations that will be developed in the first phase and will be redeveloped at an estimated cost of Rs 350 crore. About 1.5 acres of land at Central will be available for commercial exploitation and the station will be revamped keeping in mind its heritage value of the structure.

Speaking during the launch Union Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu yesterday said railways will provide approximately 140 acres of encroachment free land at these stations to the developers on a 45 year lease. Indian Railways has also appointed nodal officers in each zone to ensure smooth interactions with the developers.

The phase is expected to be of approximately Rs 6000 -9,000 Crore in size. Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is the strategic advisor for this program and based on the commercial assessment conducted by them and several rounds of discussions held with the developers and zonal railways, Indian Railways team is confident that the round will generate sufficient market interest.

Approximately 2,200 acres of prime land to the private developers across top 100 cities of the country. A committee of eminent experts would be formulated to provide suggestions to Zonal Railways on proposals submitted by bidders in addition to the technical and financial committee recommendations, he said.

Commercial potential of this vacant Railway land at the stations or near it will be leveraged to develop world class stations with no additional funding required from the Railways.

The program is expected to generate a surplus in excess of Rs 10,000 Crore for the Indian Railways which can be invested in other modernization projects.

Select high potential stations will be made as iconic stations and will be developed as per highest global standards and design norms, said the Union Minister.

To maximize commercial potential of the public assets, Indian Railways plans to bid out the projects through a transparent and competitive method.

Indian Railways has reached out to the private developers and investors through road shows in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Abu Dhabi to gauge market interest and receive feedback on the bidding process.

Railway Board has also engaged with the zonal railways through multiple workshops to accurately assess land availability.

Southern Railway general manager Vashishta Johri, Southern Railway additional general manager P K Mishra, principal heads of departments and MLA K S Ravichandran attended the Video Conference at Headquarters of Southern Railway in Chennai

Chennai Central Railway Station in Chennai Division and Kozhikode Railway Station in Palakkad Division are the two railway stations over Southern Railway in the First Phase of the Stations Redevelopment Program which was launched today.

Prior to the function, a briefing on the scheme for development of Chennai Central railway station was made to the prospective bidders in which 14 developers from various fields participated.