Qualifying bids for redeveloping Mumbai’s railway station soon

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 19, 2020

Indian Railways Station Development Corporation (IRSDC) plans to invite bids for redeveloping Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) this week. An iconic railway station, this is the only railway station in India that is on the UNESCO’s World Heritage site.

“We are awaiting minutes of the Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee meeting,” Sanjeev Kumar Lohia, Managing Director and CEO, said in a conference.

This project development was taken up by Railways in 2008 but was postponed due to several challenges including the economic slowdown and dearth of bidders at the financial bidding stage.

This year as well, post Covid-19, India’s economy is expected to plunge, predict several economy tracking agencies.

The redevelopment is being planned in such a manner that it can be restored to its glory of 1930, a year after many changes were made, said Lohia. He said this will help IRSDC get around the concerns raised regarding getting requisite approvals to conserve the building.

Many companies want a foothold in the railway-station-cum-commercial redevelopment projects of railways. For instance, GR Infraprojects, Kalpataru Power Transmission, GMR Business and Consultancy LLP, Anchorage Infrastructure Investment Holdings Limited, ISQ Asia Infrastructure Investments and Monte Carlo Limited have been shortlisted post-qualifying round for all the stations being developed at Nagpur, Gwalior, Amritsar and Sabarmati railway stations.

For the railway stations being redeveloped by Indian Railway Station Development Corporation (IRSDC), the norms for using land have tweaked (compared to the local city norms) in such a manner that there will be three times more usable green space, much more area for walking with covered space for footpaths and lesser space vehicle parking, as these stations are being designed to promote public transport.

No change in land use is required for projects being developed by IRSDC, a step which does away with the approval required at state and city level local authorities.

For redeveloping these stations, Ministry of Environment and Forests has clarified that station development projects with commercial development are exempt from prior Environment clearance. There are terms and conditions attached though requiring IRSDC to make an environment management plan for these sites.

Published on August 19, 2020

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