Encroachment left us with smaller plots for commercial use, says CR

On Monday, invitation documents were launched by Central and Western Railway to make station-wise details available to private developers.

Written by Neha Kulkarni | Mumbai | Published: February 28, 2017 3:05 am
A worker installing the roof at the platform after the central railway starts 12-coach trains on Harbour line at Wadala Station.  Express photo by Prashant Nadkar, Mumbai, 02/06/2016 Encroachment of land near Lokmanya Tilak Terminus has left the Railways with little leeway to identify pockets for commercial exploitation, senior officials from Central Railway said. (Representational Image)

Encroachment of land near Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) and Thane stations has left the Railways with little leeway to identify pockets for commercial exploitation, senior officials from Central Railway (CR) said.
Five railway stations in Mumbai — LTT, Thane, Mumbai Central, Bandra Terminus and Borivali — have been identified for a re-development scheme. On Monday, invitation documents were launched by both Central Railway (CR) and Western Railway (WR) to make station-wise details available to private developers. “Land pockets that are encroachment-free have been identified for redevelopment at these stations. A specific amount will be invested by the Railways in developing world-class passenger amenities at these stations.The areas marked will be used for commercial exploitation, which will in turn get revenue for railways,” said D K Sharma, General Manager, CR.
“We have taken complete guarantee that the identified lands are encroachment-free. In the past and in the near future, we assure that no encroachment will be seen on these plots, neither will any more land be added in this process” he said.

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“At stations such as Thane, we did find problems with locating free space due to large-scale encroachment. It was beyond our control to grant much space to developers, as only encroachment-free land had to be allotted. It was surely a restriction,” a senior CR official said.

With bids and agreement documents released, developers have been given a period of three months to design technical and financial proposals for the stations’ development. The bids will be judged by a team of independent non-railway experts specialised in the fields of real estate and architecture.

“It will also be the responsibility of civic authorities to ensure the the plots remain encroachment free. We are done with our part,” G C Agrawal, General Manager, Western Railway said.

“The letter of agreement from the final bidder for each stations will be received in one-and-a-half years from now. We will also ensure that a multi-modal corridor to ensure seamless connectivity between railways and other modes of transport be developed in co-operation with other civic bodies,” the official said.

The stations have been classified as “premium” and “iconic” based on the amount to be utilised in developing them. The land will be made available to the developers on a 45-year lease period, wherein a certain percentage of returns would be used to develop passenger amenities.

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