Railways, state in tussle over station revamp plan
The ambitious plan to generate additional revenue by redeveloping buildings adjoining the city’s railway stations into commercial complexes has hit another roadblock.india Updated: Jul 20, 2011 01:20 IST
The ambitious plan to generate additional revenue by redeveloping buildings adjoining the city’s railway stations into commercial complexes has hit another roadblock.
The growing differences between the state government and the railways over the manner in which the proposed project will be executed and the division of revenue which will be generated after commercialising these complexes has added to the confusion.
The plan to revamp stations buildings was built on the Navi Mumbai model — multi-storey buildings with offices and shops.
The railways and the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) jointly built the stations in Navi Mumbai; CIDCO spent on developing these station buildings, while railways laid the tracks.
The revamp plan got a boost after minister of state for railways KH Muniyappa met chief minister Prithiviraj Chavan and discussed the proposal during his visit last month. Chavan had approved the plan and agreed to grant more floor space index for the purpose. Five stations were shortlisted for the revamp project — Marine Lines, Dadar, Bandra, Andheri and Borivli.
A month later, senior railway officials, however, believe that the state government seems to be dilly-dallying on this project, especially after the recent Cabinet reshuffle, sources said.
“There could be a definite set of rules on the possible revamp of these buildings. Most of them were built long ago and have an archaic value, so we are now averse to this proposal,” said a senior railway official.
At a recent meeting with the state government, the railway officials stated that stations are located at prime locations and such a plan would not go down well with their heritage value. They are also averse to the government’s suggestion of using money generated for funding rail projects. “The state wants us to consider the money received as their contribution for future projects,” said a railway official, adding, “We own the buildings. The state government has no right to claim the revenue.” Under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project, the project cost is shared equally by the railways and the state.
TC Benjamin, principal secretary, urban development department, said, “We are working closely with the railways for developing five stations commercially.”