The Union Cabinet approved the Indian Railways' proposal for the redevelopment of three major railway stations including Delhi, Mumbai's CST, and Ahmedabad, in a meeting on 28 September. The redevelopment is expected to be completed in 2.5 to 3.5 years.
What will change after redevelopment? How much is the project set to cost? And when will we get these new stations? Let's find out.
Which stations will undergo redevelopment?
According to a government press release, while work on redevelopment of 199 stations is going on, tenders have been issued for 47 stations. Master planning and design for the remaining facilities are underway and work is progressing fast for 32 stations. On 28 September, the Cabinet gave its nod for the redevelopment of three big stations, namely New Delhi, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), Mumbai and Ahmedabad Railway Stations.
How much has been sanctioned for the project?
The Cabinet has sanctioned an investment of Rs 10,000 crore for the redevelopment of the stations.
What features will these stations have?
According to the press release, all three stations will have a spacious roof plaza with several passenger amenities, as well as spaces for retail stores, cafeterias, and recreational facilities. Both sides of the city will be connected with the station, with the station building on both sides of railway tracks. They will also have provisions like a food court, waiting lounge, and playing area for children. There will also be better illumination, way-finding signs, lifts, escalators, and travelators. A master plan has been prepared for smooth movement of traffic, with adequate parking facilities.
There will also be other modes of transportation like a metro and buses. Special care will be taken to provide disabled-friendly facilities. There will also be segregation of arrival and departure areas, improved surfaces, and fully covered platforms with CCTVs at all stations.
What is the overall cost for the redevelopment of all 199 stations?
The overall cost for redevelopment of 199 stations is estimated to be about Rs 60,000 crore.
How will the project be funded?
Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said the Centre will no longer be looking at station redevelopment on a public-private-partnership (PPP) basis. "The three stations will be developed completely through budgetary means," he added. The projects will be tendered out through the Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) mode.
This comes after the ministry had earlier floated a tender for the redevelopment of CSMT under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) mode. However, after the dissolution of Indian Railway Stations Redevelopment Corporation (IRSDC) last year, the tender was scrapped and the project was sent back to square one, setting the process back by a year.
Will the redevelopment create result in employment opportunities?
Vaishnaw said the redevelopment projects will result in creation of more than 35,000 jobs, and will improve the daily experience of more than 2 million passengers.