The Chandigarh Administration on Thursday gave green signal to development plans of the Indian Railway Station Development Corporation (IRSDC) to convert Chandigarh railway station into world-class facility.
In 2012, Chandigarh was selected among six railway stations in India for upgradation of passenger amenities. To arrange money for their upgradation, IRSDC was subsequently set up by the government of India whose main objective was to develop commercial area on railway land and the money realised from their commercial development was to be spent on these railway stations.
In Chandigarh, the Indian Railways has approximately 500 acres of vacant land behind the local railway station. As per its original plan submitted to the administration in 2013, IRSDC wanted to develop 60 lakh square feet of commercial space but the administration was not convinced. It wanted the agency to equally put focus on creating the warehousing facility, which is a necessity in the city.
After a series of negotiations, the local administration has finally allowed IRSDC to develop 25 lakh square feet of commercial space, out of which 4 lakh square feet has been reserved for hotel purpose and the rest for multi-purpose commercial use, which includes offices and malls.
Along with it, the administration has directed the railway body to create warehousing on 15 acres of land, which is set to be a facility for trade and industry across the region. Besides, planning for the main approach road to the Chandigarh Railway Station will provide for widening up to 60 metres within railway land. An underpass has been proposed which will link existing alternate route from Industrial Area Phase-I and the road coming from Panchkula between Sector 17 and 18.
The railway station will be a four-storey building and will be made in accordance with the prevailing regulations of the Chandigarh Administration and as per provisions of the Chandigarh Master Plan 2031.
Modern signalling equipment factory in an area of 10 acres has also been approved.
Talking to Chandigarh Newsline, S P Sharma, GM, IRSDC, said, “After getting official confirmation from the Chandigarh Administration, we will go ahead seeking permissions to lay down basic facilities like sewerage, electricity and water connection on the area approved for commercial purpose. Then a financial development plan and criteria will be prepared based on which private developers will be invited through bidding process who will be handed over approved space on a leasehold basis for commercial purpose.”
It is learnt that the agency plans to realise a minimum of Rs 500-600 crore by developing the commercial space and spend that money on the facelift of the local railway station. As per their original plan, there will be re-development of the station building, platform surfaces, circulating areas of the station besides modern parking.
Germany-based GMP International has prepared the overall architectural designs, as per which, the local station will have separate arrival and departure facilities of international standards. Then there will a wide concourse area on the first floor (on the lines of airport) where passengers can wait for their trains and spend quality time amid facilities like food courts and shopping area.
Major infrastructure development is expected on the Panchkula side of the railway station where the Railways has ample land.
There is also a provision to increase the number of platforms from existing six to 10 with separate connectivity for Chandigarh metro as well. Sharma said that overall development of both commercial area and railway station would take a minimum of three to four years. Divisional manager of Ambala circle A K Kathpal said while approval by the administration was welcome, the real challenge for the IRSDC was to prepare a plan, lucrative enough for the investors so that they come forward and invest in the commercial space developed by the agency.
On the cards
# 25 lakh square feet of commercial development including four lakh square feet of hotel space around Chandigarh railway station
# 15 acres of warehousing facility
# Modern signalling equipment factory in an area of 10 acres
# Re-development of the station building, platform surfaces and circulating areas
# Passengers’ segregation with separate arrival and departure
# Wide concourse area on first floor for quality time of the passengers
# Number of platforms to increase from 6 to 10
# Development towards Panchkula side of the station
# An underpass linking existing alternate route from Industrial Area Phase-I and road coming from Panchkula between Sector 17 and 18