New Delhi station facelift likely in 2022
Nine firms likely to be asked to send proposals for building a facility of international standards, first phase likely to begin next year, say officials
The Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) plans to invite request for proposal (RFP) from nine firms for the redevelopment of New Delhi Railway Station (NDRS), India’s largest and second busiest railway facility, officials privy to the development said.
They said work on the first phase of the project is expected to start next year.
RLDA has also prepared a traffic circulation and improvement plan for the station and its surrounding areas. The plan was submitted to the Unified Traffic and Transportation Infrastructure (Planning and Engineering) Centre (UTTIPEC), the apex body for approval of traffic plans in Delhi, in July.
A senior UTTIPEC official said, “RLDA has submitted the plan. We have asked them to provide some more information.”
RLDA vice-chairman Ved Parkash Dudeja said they aim to make New Delhi station an iconic structure with large-scale infrastructure development in and around it. “While the development at the station will provide state-of-the-art facilities to passengers, we have also made a detailed plan to decongest the area. We will invite the RFP for the first phase of works, which involves station development, commercial centres, that will begin by September-end or early October, and we plan to start the construction work by next year.”
The redevelopment plan, estimated to cost around ₹14,000 crore, will be implemented in two phases and will be based on the Centre’s Transit Oriented Development (TOD) policy. Of the 160 acres of land where new developments have been proposed, work on around 85 acres will be taken up in the first phase at a cost of ₹6,500.
In the first phase, the railway development body plans to construct a 70 metres high dome-shaped building (infinity tower), 40-storey twin towers and business district, providing office and commercial space, multilevel car-parking on either side of the station (Paharganj and Ajmeri Gate) for 5,000 vehicles, retail hub, pedestrian boulevard, etc. It will also upgrade the road network around the station.
The revamp of the New Delhi station, which handles approximately 450,000 passengers daily (160-170 million passengers annually), has been going on since 2007. Dudeja said the initial plan was not implemented as it required shutting down half of the station for three years and the other half for another three years.
“The initial plan was a bit complicated as it involved aligning all the railway tracks, for which it was mandatory to close half of the station in a phased manner over a period of six years. It is not possible to suspend train operations at the station, which is the second busiest in India. In the new plan, we will not have to close the tracks for such a long duration,” said Dudeja.
In the new plan, RLDA has proposed a 70m-high dome-shaped building above the tracks. A large concourse of the building will be connected to all the 16 platforms, and facilities such as retail, lounge, restrooms will be there above the tracks; multilevel parking lots, office complexes will be part of the larger station complex.
At the concourse, there will be two arrival and departure points each. The concourse will be connected to multilevel car parking-cum-office spaces on either side of the station through skywalks. “Currently, all the buses are parked on the main road. The new facility will have a bus bay on the ground floor with a capacity of up to 100 buses. The parking lots will be connected to the station building at the concourse level. The entire area will be accessible to all,” said an RLDA official.
Earlier this year, RLDA finalised nine national and international firms based on the request for quotation it received for the project.
As the project requires coordination with multiple agencies, RLDA officials said they have been holding regular meetings with various departments.
RLDA officials said they also plan to run battery operated cars or carts to connect all the buildings.
In the second phase, RLDA plans to develop the remaining 75 acres with focus on developing green spaces as ground coverage will be less than 25%.Redevelopment of railway residential colonies, and other residential units will also be taken up in the second phase.
The commercial district, which includes 40-storey twin towers for commercial purposes, retail facilities, etc, are proposed to be located near Bhavabhuti Marg, near the Civic Centre (municipal headquarters).
RLDA officials said the works planned in the first phase will be completed within four years.
A K Jain, former planning commissioner at DDA, said, “While redevelopment of the area is the need of the hour, concentrating commercial developments in a few pockets is not a good idea. It will only result in more congestion, especially in the heart of the city. Commercial development should be planned along the railway track from Old Delhi station to Nizammudin railway station. This will help in distributing traffic. The railways have a lot of property in Delhi. Instead of constructing large commercial spaces around New Delhi station, it should develop spaces around Dwarka, Anand Vihar, etc.”