After introducing Tejas Express that offers aircraft-like features, Indian Railways is set to open to passengers the revamped Habibganj and Gandhinagar railway stations that will be the first two “world-class”, “airport-like” railway stations in India! Indian Railways, the lifeline of the country, is often criticised for complex and time-taking projects. But in this case, IRSDC (Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation) is putting in all efforts to complete the station development projects in Madhya Pradesh’s Habibganj and Gujarat’s Gandhinagar by January 2019. IRSDC, a JV between IRCON (a government of India undertaking) and RLDA a statutory authority under the Ministry of Railways, is responsible for these big projects that aim at revamping railway stations into world-class transit hubs. In an interaction, IRSDC MD and CEO SK Lohia, has said that while Habibganj railway station redevelopment work will be complete by December 31, 2018, Gandhinagar station revamp will be done by January 9, 2019. According to Lohia, the idea behind station redevelopment projects is to get passengers to enjoy a good comfortable ambience at the concourse.
The entire responsibility of maintenance and revenue generation of these stations lies with IRSDC. “We have to make sure that these railway stations are revenue surplus and to the extent that this revenue can be used to invest back in the maintenance and development of the station,” Lohia told Financial Express Online. Elaborating on the same, Lohia said, “Even as we redevelop the station, our maintenance cost has gone down. Once the station is fully ready it will go up and we expect it to be in the range of Rs 4-5 crore for Habibganj. The estimated revenue is anywhere between Rs 6.5 to 7 crore per annum. We plan to increase this to more than Rs 10 crore per annum.” Read More