China is slated to develop New Bhubaneswar (Odisha) and Baiyappanahalli (Bengaluru) railway stations, while Mumbai Central, Jammu, Jaipur and Varanasi stations will be modernised matching airport-like amenities with Belgium’s help. Putting the redevelopment of stations project on the fast track, Railways has finalised the blue print to involve foreign countries and also to take help of the World Bank for changing the skyline in a significant way. Talks with countries like China, Belgium, France and Germany are in final stages for potential station redevelopment projects under the proposed Foreign Rail Technology Cooperation Scheme (FRTCS), said a senior Railway Ministry official involved with the project. Besides the foreign countries, state governments and public sector undertakings (PSUs) will also be roped in for modernisation of about 400 stations across the country.
As per the firmed-up plan, Indian Railway Station Development Corporation (IRSDC) along with China Railway Construction Engineering Group will be developing New Bhubaneshwar and Baiyappanahalli stations. Railways is also planning station development through Valorisation route (Land/air space commercial development) by formation of joint venture with Belgium Railways entity, which could be assigned Mumbai Central, Jammu, Jaipur and Varanasi stations. According to the agreed action plan, redevelopment of two stations — Ludhiana and Ambala — would be undertaken in association with France. Similarly, with Germany, projects relating development of Nagpur, Secunderabad or as mutually decided will be undertaken.
Railways is also planning to redevelop three more railway stations in association with government of India PSUs. Recently, IRSDC had issued the Letter of Acceptance (LoA) to the selected bidder to develop Habibganj railway station along with seven other railway stations, including Chandigarh, Shivaji Nagar (Pune), Bijwasan (New Delhi), Anand Vihar (New Delhi), Surat (Gujarat), SAS Nagar (Mohali) and Gandhi Nagar (Gujarat). The Habibganj railway station is the first station to be redeveloped through PPP route — at a cost of Rs 450 crore, with a dual aim of providing world-class amenities for passengers and generating revenue for the public transporter. The IRSDC issued the LoA to the selected bidder– who have been entrusted to complete the development project by 2019.