The government has approved the redevelopment of major railway stations using money from its own coffers instead of going for public-private partnership (PPP), finally bringing clarity on the funding mechanism for these mega projects. Union Minister for Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw said that the stations will be developed with futuristic design and user convenience at the fore, and the exact breakup of the cost will be available once the tenders for these projects are floated in the next ten days.
The redevelopment of these stations will take 2-3.5 years as a framework has to be established to ensure there are no traffic congestion woes in these typically high-density areas.The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday cleared Rs 10,000 crore for the redevelopment of railway stations at New Delhi, Mumbai (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus), and Ahmedabad in Gujarat.
The works will be taken up under the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) model and the money will solely come from the government coffers, Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said while briefing the media on the Cabinet decision.
The stations will be equipped with roof-top plazas, consisting of multiple amenities such as waiting areas, entertainment lounges, playing areas, food courts, and recreational facilities. Vaishnaw added that arrangements have been made to ensure that the livelihoods of millions of small business owners in and around the stations are protected after redevelopment.
The redevelopment of CSMT, a Unesco World Heritage site, will be executed by building infrastructure around the station which complements its current design, without interference with the heritage aspect of the station.