Thirty-eight railway stations from Maharashtra are among the 400 stations selected for public-private partnership model of redevelopment, which was cleared by the Union Cabinet Thursday.
A senior official in the Indian Railways said the plan for Mumbai’s stations would be to include vertical development wherever possible, on the lines of commercial exploitation of the space at Vashi and other stations. “Commercial office space may be made available on the upper levels of railway stations,” said the official.
This means book and food stalls would be moved to other floors wherever possible, leaving ample space on the platforms for passengers.
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In Mumbai division, the selected stations includes CST, Dadar, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, Thane, Kalyan, Panvel and Lonavala on the Central Railway, and Bandra, Vapi, Valsad, Udhana and Navsari on the Western Railway.
The plan is also to generate more facilities such as escalators, elevators and foot overbridges for passengers. Designs that promote internally connecting railway stations with other modes of transportation would be encouraged.
“The recently renovated Andheri railway station is a benchmark… This railway station is a model for the proposal sanctioned by the cabinet. Andheri on the east side connects with the Metro Rail through the sky-walk, allowing a smooth movement for passengers. On the west side of the station, the BEST bus depot is easily accessible. Andheri station also has connectivity with the Central Railway’s harbour line,” said an official.
The project will be implemented through a Swiss Challenge method of procurements or contracts. Any person with the required credentials may send a proposal for redevelopment of one of the selected stations. The method usually implies taking one bid and asking others to outdo or improve it, with the original bidder getting the final chance to match the improved bid.
Similarly, suggestions for the proposed redevelopment of a railway station will be perused by an expert team, and another expert committee formed by the Railway Board to select the best proposals would take the final call, said a senior officer.
“The Central government will contribute Rs 8,548 crore towards the project and Rs 3,419 crore will come from the clean energy fund. The railways will not be contributing any money,” the official added.