The ambitious dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make railways most advanced is on the right way with Smart Railway Station projects. Recently Indian Railway has tied up with the Ministry of Urban Development to ensure that his ambitious project of smart cities of India also have smart railway station.
Both Ministries have signed the MOU in which stations and surrounding areas will be redeveloped with an aim to provide world-class facilities and also enable optimal utilization of land at railway stations. According to MOU the stations and neighboring areas of around 300 to 800 acres in each smart city and AMRUT city will be redeveloped.
Five facts about Smart Railway Station Project:
- The railway’s station and neighboring area in smart cities will be redeveloped on the lines of Area Based Development that have been provided in the smart city Mission Guidelines. According to the ministries, the proposed redevelopment will involve easy access to the station and will enhance the reach of the passenger.
Including that passenger amenities, integrated public transport hub, waiting halls and other amenities for passengers, development of residential and commercial space and landscaping will also be improved.
- The joint initiative of both Ministries has now widened the smart city development to one more are in each of the mission cities. Now, each city is required to select one area under their respective plans in the first phase.
- As per Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, many countries such as France, Japan, Germany, Uk, South Korea and Belgium have exposed interest in our redevelopment projects. We will be hosting a roundtable meeting with domestic and overseas bankers to discuss financing of these development projects. Also, the redevelopment work at Habibganj railway station has already been honored. Plans for the redevelopment of Gandhinagar, Surat, Anand Vihar (Delhi) and Bijwasan are in initial stages.
- The MoU that has been signed today proposes two options for joint ventures that will abet ensure the speedy redevelopment of railway station centered area. The first option suggests MoU between the Railways and the special Purpose Vehicle formed for execution of smart City plans, with and equal share in equity.
Well, the second model National Buildings Construction Corporation can be roped in with equal among the three. NBCC can design develop and implement the redevelopment plans on self-financing basis, the MoU says.
On the other hand, Urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu has suggested that to start with 10 cities – Varanasi, Jaipur, Kota, Sarai Rohilla (Delhi), Thane, Margao(Goa), Bhubaneswar, Lucknow, Tirupati, and Puducherry – can be taken up for redevelopment with the involvement of NBCC.
- The Ministry of Railways will be responsible for forming the collaborated ventures and the Ministry of Urban Development will work with the states and Urban-local bodies to integrate railways station redevelopment as a part of smart city development plans.