Chennai: Railway ministry announced the first phase of the redevelopment of Indian stations as world-class stations, on private-public partnership (PPP), two of which are Chennai and Kozhikode in southern zone.
Chennai Central is one of the 23 A1 and A stations that will be developed in the first phase and will be redeveloped at an estimated cost of Rs 350 crore. About 1.5 acres of land at Central will be available for commercial exploitation and the station will be revamped keeping in mind its heritage value of the structure.
Announcing the ambitious project, Suresh Prabhu, the union minister of railways, through video conferencing, on Wednesday announced that in total 400 stations across India would be redeveloped to provide better facilities to passengers at the same time helping railways earn revenue by leasing out land for development.
“For phase one, we will lease out 140 acres of encroachment free land at these stations to the developers on a 45-year lease. The phase is expected to be approximately Rs 6,000 to Rs 9,000 crore in size. Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is the strategic advisor for this programme,” the minister said.
Some of the amenities proposed are digital signage, escalators, self-ticketing counters, walkways, WiFi, and executive lounges. “The stations will be redeveloped by private parties identified through a competitive bidding process. The revamped stations will be leased for retail development, office spaces beside hospitality sector,” said senior railway officials. They added that the bids would be floated on May 22.
Chennai Egmore and Madurai are slated for redevelopment in the second phase. A total of 50 stations in Southern Railway will be redeveloped of which 27 are in Tamil Nadu.
With an overall size of 1 lakh crore, it is one of the largest PPP programmes undertaken in the country. The programme will provide approximately 2,200 acres of prime land to the private developers with no additional funding required from the railways. The programme is expected to generate a surplus in excess of Rs 10,000 crore for the Indian Railways.