Soon, Indian Railways will add more world-class stations to its network! In the coming years, Indian Railways passengers will be able to enjoy airport-like luxury and comfort at stations. The Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Limited (IRSDC) is all set to invite bids for Nellore, Dehradun, Tirupati, Puducherry, Udhna Surat, CSMT, New Delhi and Baiyyappanahalli railway stations in the next two months. "We are in the process of finalising the redevelopment works for several more stations. In the next two months, bids for many more stations will be invited. Two of the big projects are New Delhi railway station and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) in Mumbai," VK Yadav, Chairman Railway Board told Financial Express Online.
The railway station projects will be awarded on the basis of Design Build Finance Operate Transfer (DBFOT) for a concession of 60 years. The time period would be 99 years in case the redevelopment involves a residential component as well.
The IRSDC is currently undertaking works to transform many railway stations across the country into world-class airport-like hubs. The corporation is a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) under the Ministry of Railways, a joint venture entity of RLDA and IRCON. At present, IRSDC is carrying out the redevelopment works at Habibganj and Gandhinagar station.
According to Yadav, an airport-style user fee will be levied on passengers or railway users who use the upcoming redeveloped stations. Generally, the User Development Fee is charged at airports, the rate of which varies based on various factors. However, the national transporter has stated that the user fee for the redeveloped world-class railway stations will be kept at a nominal amount for passengers. The user fee may differ across the stations depending on the footfall. However, the fee would not be applicable for the Habibganj railway station and Gandhinagar railway station. Other than these two, the user fee will be implemented for the rest of the redeveloped world-class stations.
The redeveloped Habibganj and Gandhinagar stations will be India’s first two world-class stations. Bhopal’s Habibganj station in Bhopal is being transformed on the lines of Germany's Heidelberg station. The station is being revamped in partnership with the Bansal Group. An amount of Rs 100 crore is being invested on this project while Rs 350 crore is being spent on the stations’ in and around commercial development. On the other hand, the Gandhinagar station is being revamped at a cost of around Rs 250 crore. Some of the other railway stations, which will be transformed into swanky hubs include Chandigarh, Anand Vihar, Nagpur, Amritsar, Bijwasan, Sabarmati, Gwalior railway stations.