Railway station facelift likely to get a Chinese touch

Railway station facelift likely to get a Chinese touch

Chinese companies might no longer be considered unfavourable by New Delhi for infrastructure project developments.

The neighbour across the Himalayas might soon develop a railway station in one of the metro cities. The station would be allotted under a bilateral route. Apart from China, a proposal by the Indian Railways to allot railway stations on bilateral routes to Germany and France are also under consideration of the ministry of external affairs. “We are in talks with China, France and Germany to take up a few stations in metro cities. The proposal is up for clearance from the ministry of external affairs,” said an official.

This is part of the Rs 1-lakh crore station redevelopment programme launched by the Suresh Prabhu-led ministry covering 400 stations.

While Habibganj (Bhopal) station was allotted to the Bansal Group in July 2016, bidding process for Surat, Anand Vihar and Bijwasan stations are underway. On February 8, Prabhu had lined up another 23 stations across the country expected to see investments worth Rs 9,000 crore.  The estimated cost of redevelopment of the Habibganj station is Rs 100 crore and that of commercial is approximately Rs 350 crore. The Indian Railway Stations Corporation, entrusted with drawing up a redevelopment road map, has lined up Surat (Ahmedabad), Anand Vihar and Bijwasan in New Delhi.

Railway Rolling Stock Corporation is already setting up an assembly line of rail transportation equipment in Haryana. is also conducting a feasibility study to build a high-speed railway line between Chennai and New Delhi.

Currently, only Indian companies have shown interest in the station redevelopment programme. The move is seen as an effort to garner interest from overseas developers as well.

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The companies in the fray for Anand Vihar and Bijwasan include the Tata group, Shapoorji Pallonji group, GMR, Essel Group, L&T, IL&FS, McNally Bharat, Supreme Infrastructure, Oriental Structure, the Bhartiya group, MBL Infrastructure, ASF Infrastructure, Bansal Constructions, Bharti Realty, Ahluwalia and IRB Infra. These bids are likely to be finalised by April.

The railways had appointed Boston Consulting Group as the strategic advisor. The railways will provide approximately 140 acres at these stations to the developers on a 45-year lease. The programme is expected to provide approximately 2,200 acres of prime land to private developers across the country. The redeveloped stations will provide amenities such as digital signages, escalators, self-ticketing counters, executive lounges, restaurants, malls, cinemas and even Wi-Fi facility. The railways estimate the programme will benefit more than 100 cities and 16 million passengers a day.

On preferential allotment to foreign companies, a senior executive from a Delhi-based real estate major said, “Foreign players should be welcomed. In any city, railway stations are in prime locations and, hence, a developer will have the advantage of not having to market the spot and make it accessible. The programme should be extended to all the stations across the country as the railways will be the owner of the station and the plot will be allotted on lease only.”  Read More…

Credit By : Business-standard.com

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