The Union Cabinet has approved the redevelopment of three railway stations at New Delhi, Ahmedabad and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) at Mumbai at a total cost of ₹10,000 crore.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday. “Today’s Cabinet decision gives a new direction to the station development. The design of these stations will be in line with the cityscape to make sure it becomes an integral part of the city,” Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said at a media briefing.
Tenders for the redevelopment of these three stations will be issued in the next 10 days. It is expected that the redevelopment of New Delhi Railway Station will be completed in three-and-a-half years while work for Ahmedabad and CSMT will be finished in two-and-a-half years.
“India’s infrastructure has to be futuristic. Today’s Cabinet decision on redevelopment of New Delhi, Ahmedabad and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus reflects this vision of the Government. These stations will be modernised and will further ‘Ease of Living’,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.
The redevelopment of these three stations is part of an overall redevelopment plan for 199 stations with a footfall of 50 lakh per day at a cost of ₹60,000 crore.
“Out of these, tenders have been issued for 47 stations. Master planning and design for the remaining is underway. Work is progressing fast for 32 stations,” the Minister said.
Significantly, in a change in stance, the projects will be implemented on an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) basis rather than through public private partnership mode.
Vaishnaw said this is a conscious decision of the government as it does not want to burden rail passengers, most of whom are from middle and lower income groups. A project on the PPP mode typically tends to have a user fee or toll component that has to be borne by the traveller.
Standard elements of station design will include a spacious roof plaza with all passenger amenities along with space for retail shops, cafes and recreational facilities. Green building techniques as well as modular technology will be used for construction.
The master plan has been prepared for smooth movement of traffic, with adequate parking facilities and there will also be integration with other modes of transportation like metro and bus.