The Indian Railways will soon be joining hands with Malaysia to modernise 20 stations in the country, including Visakhapatnam. Hopefully attracting a Rs 1 lakh crore investment will be the station redevelopment project that will revamp the infrastructure at platforms and the surrounding areas.
The project includes exploitation of the station area for the construction of hotels, eateries, multiplexes, shopping malls and office complexes. A long-term partnership will be forged with Malaysia for the same on a government-to-government basis. The railways has already launched the offering of 400 stations to be redeveloped. They will be done on a PPP mode, on an investment of Rs 1 lakh crore.
In the first phase the stations of Howrah, Mumbai Central, Chennai Central, Pune, Thane, Visakhapatnam, Kamakhya, Jammu Tawi, Udaipur City, Secunderabad, Vijaywada, Ranchi, Kozhikode, Yesvantpur, Bangalore Cantt, Bhopal, Bandra Terminus, Borivali and Indore. A meeting was recently held with Malaysian officials wherein they’ve showed keen interest in the project.
Malaysia will be participating in the bidding process for 23 stations and the railways will most likely be offering 20 stations separately with about Rs 10,000 crore worth investment. The partnership will be launched as soon as the Cabinet approves of the same.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu will inaugurate the start of work at Bhopal station that has already been handed over to a developer. A cost of Rs 450 crore will involve the construction of a hotel, hospital, parking lot, office and restaurants on the premises. The developer will be holding commercial exploitation of the land for 45 years and ownership of the land will remain with Indian Railways.