The Union Cabinet recently gave its nod to the construction of residential complexes near railway stations. According to the sources, this decision is taken as a part of an ambitious redevelopment programme of the Indian Railways.
This approval from the Union Cabinet also cleared the way for the railways to develop land commercially and air space in and around stations can also be provided for a longer lease tenure of up to 99 years which was earlier allowed till 45 years. Although, the sources clarifies that the approval for residential complexes is not a blanket one, but the decision will be taken on a case-to-case basis.
According to a senior railway official, the commercial viability of the project will also increase after allowing residential development with the commercial one.
Earlier, the cabinet approval for the same was obtained on June 24, 2015 which stated redevelopment of ‘A1’ and ‘A’ category stations depending upon higher earnings and footfalls by zonal railways for a lease period of 45 years. But the project failed to take off.
However, a new model was planned by the ministry after having a round of meetings with infrastructure and real estate majors. Under this plan, Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation and Divisional Railway Managers will redevelop the main station facilities after which the station, along with its land parcels, will be put up for bidding.
According to the sources, these residential complexes will have small-sized dwelling units for the citizens who are mainly dependent on public transport. An official was quoted saying, “Its the principle of transit-oriented development. Building densities around transit. It will not be limited to railway employees only.”
IRSDC i.e. Indian Railways Station Development Corporation will be the nodal agency for the development of stations and the estimated costs is Rs 1.07 lakh crore for the redevelopment of 600 stations.
Other than residential complexes, railways also plans to have malls, shopping arcades, indoor games facilities and even space for socio-cultural events at stations.