BENGALURU: Taking a major step towards monetising railway assets and upgrading passenger amenities, Indian Railways on Wednesday invited tenders for development of vacant railway land in the vicinity of 23 railway stations. This includes Bangalore Cantonment and Yeshwantpur in Bangalore Railway Division.
Briefing newspersons at the Divisional Railway Manager’s office before Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu inaugurated the ‘Station Redevelopment Programme’ (announced in this year’s Railway budget) from New Delhi through video link, General Manager of South Western Railway, A K Gupta, said a total of 22.5 acres in Bengaluru will be offered for private development.
“This will include 20 acres located 4 km from Yeshwantpur station and 2.25 acres near Cantonment station, located along Thimmaiah Road connecting Queen’s Road,” he said.
Tenders were floated for commercial development of these places on Wednesday and the last date for accepting bids is June 1. The Swiss Challenge Method, which is more transparent than the regular tendering process, has been adopted.
“The bidder can have any commercial venture in railway land, which will be offered on a 45-year lease. Simultaneously, the two stations need to be provided with all conceivable passenger amenities and facilities so that they become iconic ventures,” he added.
Fifteen more stations in South Western Railway will be developed. These include Belagavi, Ballari, Vijayapura, Davangere, Dharwad, Hosapete, Hubballi, Krishnarajapuram, Shivamogga, Sai Prashanti Nilayam, Vasco Da Gama, Bangarpet and Bengaluru city (Krantivira Sangolli Rayanna) stations, Gupta said.
In the second phase, bids for redevelopment of 100 stations will be put out in June. In the third and final phase in December, 250-plus stations will be covered.
Suresh Prabhu, in a speech telecast live across many railway divisions, said that the space near railway stations falls under the “most valuable real estate in the country.”
“The entire Stations Redevelopment Programme was targeting `1 lakh crore to be obtained by monetising 2,200 acres of land across 100 cities across the country,” he said. Altogether 400-plus A1 and A stations would be developed.