Indian Railways News

IRSDC invites proposals to modernize Chandigarh, Bijwasan and Anand Vihar Railway Stations

The Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Ltd (IRSDC) on Friday invited proposals to redevelop three railway stations—one in Chandigarh and two in New Delhi—at a cost of Rs.656 crore as part of the government’s $1 trillion station modernization drive.

According to a request for proposals published by IRSDC, the nodal agency for the programme, work at the Chandigarh station will take Rs140 crore and be carried out over two years; the stations at Bijwasan and Anand Vihar in New Delhi will cost Rs310 crore and Rs206 crore, respectively, and take around three years.

The three projects are likely to be awarded in the first quarter of the next fiscal, a senior government official said on condition of anonymity.

“We are hopeful of getting a good number of players as several investors and companies have shown interest in these projects,” the official said.

Under the station redevelopment programme, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government plans to make Indian railway stations more attractive and passenger-friendly by adding amenities such as escalators, lifts and shopping complexes.

The plan was first proposed in 2009-10 by the then railway minister, Mamata Banerjee, under the United Progressive Alliance, or UPA) government.

Last year, the NDA government announced it would take up the project and modernize 400 railway stations across the country; the target was later raised to 600 stations.

The government plans to monetize 2,700 acres of land owned by the Railways and use the proceeds to invest around Rs1 trillion towards modernizing stations.

The Railway Board had appointed state-owned IRSDC as the nodal agency in charge of the initiative in December.

The decision, however, hit a roadblock in January as the finance ministry and government think tank NITI Aayog red-flagged the decision, saying that one agency cannot handle a project of this magnitude.

However, the railway ministry has said IRSDC is a specialized company and so is best suited to handle the programme.

The Union cabinet is expected to take a final call.

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