The government has decided to use ‘Swiss Challenge’ method to upgrade 400 Railway Stations located in metros, major cities, pilgrimage centres and important tourist destinations across the country.
Swiss Challenge is a new bidding process to help private sector initiatives in core sector projects.
“This is a new method to award contracts for A1 and A category stations. Virtually 400 centres of the country will become centres of developmental activity,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said while briefing media persons after the Cabinet meeting on Thursday.
What government said about re-development for railway station:
Hailing this move, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said that this e-bidding process leaves no discretion. “Stations will be developed to use land and air rights. (There will be) no selling of land. Customer service is our priority,” he tweeted after the Cabinet decision.
A Government statement said redevelopment will be on ‘as is where is’ basis, through open invitation from interested parties with their designs and business ideas including permitting commercial development of real estate by the Zonal Railways. These stations are to be developed by leveraging real estate development of land and air space in and around the stations, it mentioned.
Further, it added that this process will accelerate the redevelopment. At present redevelopment of stations is undertaken through the Indian Stations Development Corporation Ltd (IRSDC). But this body is able to undertake redevelopment of only a few stations, and since there is a need to redevelop a large number of stations, the new mechanism is being put in place.
Re-development of Railway station:
To boost the real estate development of the surrounding regions, augment the tourism potential and generate employment opportunities, Indian Railways has an ambitious station redevelopment plan which will open up about 20 million sq ft of real estate. Faizan Haidar & Sakshi Prashar take you through this plan of providing airport-like experience at railway stations near you. Watch
The Railways has around 38 acres of the land parcel at the Gomti Nagar railway station, out of which eight acres is being utilised for both station redevelopment and retail and commercial development.
Indian Railways is among the world’s largest rail network serving approx. 23 million travellers every day. Major part of the existing rail network has been in existence since the pre-independence era and deserves to be reimagined to keep up with the demands of New India. In this context, Indian Railways has embarked on a much needed and exciting endeavour to redevelop significant railway stations in India’s major cities to provide enhanced travel experiences to its passengers with a view to modernize and future proof these important travel nodes. Agencies such as the RLDA, IRCON, IRSDC, etc. have been actively engaged in this process and have already identified 62 stations across the country for redevelopment and privatization. This provides a tremendous opportunity to reshape the urban landscape of the country, setting up exemplary Transit-oriented-development (TOD) projects in Tier-1 cities and catalysing development in various Tier 2 and Tier 3 locations across the country.