Indian Railways will seek $500 million from the World Bank inorder to undertake redevelopment of some major stations as part of its ambitious station development plan.
Altogether 403 stations have been identified for redevelopment in a big way with improved passenger amenities including shopping malls, multiplexes, office complex, eateries and larger parking lots using vast land in possession of the public sector transporter.
Station development is the focus area for the cash-strapped behemoth and concerted efforts are being made to firm up a roadmap for it, said a senior Railway Ministry official involved with the station development project.
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He said a proposal for seeking a loan of $500 million from World Bank with a moratorium of seven years for undertaking redevelopment of some key stations is under process.
Besides, railways is also in discussion with some foreign entities, which can provide their expertise in developing stations. While French Railway (SNCF) has been given Ambala and Ludhiana stations for redevelopment, the public transporter is also in talks with Germany and South Korea for some other stations.
According to the official, railways is exploring the possibility of involving South Korea for redeveloping the New Delhi station as a world class station.
The Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation (IRSDC) has been tasked with redeveloping eight stations – Habibganj, Bijwasan, Anand Vihar, Chandigarh, Shivaji Nagar, Surat, Gandhinagar and Mohali.
As a large number of stations are to be redeveloped, various modes and strategies are being planned, the official said. A cabinet note has been initiated to entrust three selected stations to National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC), a Public Sector Undertaking under Urban Development Ministry on nomination basis. The cabinet note has been sent for inter-ministerial consultations, sources said.