Railopolis plan for Bengaluru's Railway Station goes off track as railway body shutters down
This Special Purpose Vehicle was a joint venture formed on April 12, 2012, between the Rail Land Development Authority, RITES and Ircon International Limited.
BENGALURU: The abrupt move by the Railway Board on Monday night to close down its nine-year-old Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation (IRSDC) has put a big question mark over the future of major passenger amenities proposed at the Krantivira Sangolli Rayanna (Bengaluru City) Railway Station.
Along with four other major stations in the country, Indian Railways handed over KSR station to IRSDC for facility management in November 2018. The process of revamping the railway station on the lines of an airport was under way.
This Special Purpose Vehicle was a joint venture formed on April 12, 2012, between the Rail Land Development Authority, RITES and Ircon International Limited. The IRSDC aimed at transforming KSR Railway Station into a Railopolis, an integrated mini-smart city for passengers and visitors to work, play, and ride.
As part of this, tenders were called for on September 3 this year for a Rail Arcade. "It was to have food and beverage outlets, a gaming zone, toys, garment shops, handlooms, artefacts, and other commercial outlets," said a senior official.
Redevelopment of the station was another priority. "We had plans to build swanky retail spaces and waiting lounges on the lines of Habib Ganj station (MP) and a five-star hotel like in Gandhinagar (Gujarat) railway station. The focus of Railways would now be on running the trains, and all these would be put on the back-burner," another official said.
"To start a venture in the Railways, the procedures to be completed, is tedious and it will take a while before any major amenity can be implemented," the official said.
The three-year contract given by Railways to IRSDC for facility management was to expire shortly but it was expected to be automatically extended. "There were murmurs over the last two months that it would be merged with the Indian Railways. The removal of it completely is a big shock to all," another official said.
Rajeev Jain, Additional Director General (Public Relations), Ministry of Railways, told The New Indian Express, "All projects carried out by IRSDC would be handed over to the General Managers of different Zones. Many rounds of discussions on the issue will take place and the final picture will be clear in a few days."