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Swiss challenge model: Firms vie to give Pune railway station a facelift

The ‘Swiss Challenge’ model of bidding is different than the conventional process. It allows the entity, which submitted the unsolicited bid itself, to match or better the best bid that comes out of the Swiss process.

By: Express News Service | Pune | Published: August 14, 2017 6:36:48 am
Pune station is among the 23 railway stations, which are scheduled to be revamped along the lines of a ‘Swiss Challenge’ model.

Six national and foreign infrastructure firms are vying to get the contract for redevelopment of the Pune railway station under the ‘Swiss Challenge’ model, the decision on which will be declared in a few months, said officials.
Several bidders have approached the officials in the Pune Division and the Railway Board for the contract.
Earnst and Young, which is appointed as an advisory firm, is in touch with the prospective bidders.

Pune station is among the 23 railway stations, which are scheduled to be revamped along the lines of a ‘Swiss Challenge’ model. The second phase of a mega modernisation programme is slated to kick off later this month. Passengers may soon get to enjoy “airport-like facilities”, said an official.

The Railway Board has identified 15 key parametres, including separate arrival and departure terminals, easy connectivity with local modes of transportation, such as bus or Metro, and accessibility from both sides of the city. Facilities such as food courts, retail outlets and medical facilities will also be made available.

“The project is getting good response from the infrastructure firms. As many as six companies have approahed us, in Pune and Delhi. Most of the work is being handled from Delhi. We have a liasoning officer in Pune too,” said a senior official in Pune Division.

The ‘Swiss Challenge’ model of bidding is different than the conventional process. It allows the entity, which submitted the unsolicited bid itself, to match or better the best bid that comes out of the Swiss process.
“Under the project, real estate development of land and air space belonging to the railways will be done. The private partner can exploit the space for commercial purposes. Redevelopment is on ‘as is where is’, through open invitation from interested parties with their designs and ideas,” said officials.

Officials added that the estimated cost of redevelopment of Pune railway station is 200 crore. The other stations scheduled for remodelling include Thane, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, Mumbai Central, Bandra and Borivali.

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