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Metro stations soon to have duty-free shops

Delhi Metro is exploring the option of having duty-free shops, a hotel, office and shopping spaces in upcoming stations, reports Vandana Ramnani. Likely projects.

delhi Updated: Apr 22, 2008 01:59 IST
Vandana Ramnani

Delhi Metro is exploring the option of having duty-free shops, a hotel, office and shopping spaces in upcoming stations.

“The option of duty-free shops is open at the airport express link stations but is subject to approval. The basic idea is to get maximum revenue,” said Anuj Dayal, Chief PRO of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).

Dwarka: The DMRC is toying with the idea of setting up a hotel at the Dwarka Sector 21 Metro station. “But, this is subject to approval. Details have not been finalised yet,” he said.

Sushant Lok: There are plans to have shopping or office spaces in areas below and above the station at the Sushant Lok Metro Station. “The Sushant Lok Metro station will be on an elevated line. It will have some floors above the station and some below. Extra floors will be converted into office spaces or a shopping area,” he said.

Chawri Bazaar: At the Chawri Bazaar station, two floors on top have gone to Omaxe Ltd on a 12-year concession. J.B. Goel, Director, Omaxe Ltd, said the company has acquired 17,000 sq ft area at Chawri Bazaar.

“Possession has been taken but we have not started operations. There are three to four options open to us. We may consider it for office use and lease it out to others or put it to retail use. It is a wholesale retail locality, so a special type of retail can work in the area. An anchor store and a food court is another option. We are still contemplating about the retail format to be put in place in the area,” he added.

Akshardham station: Parsvnath Developers will be developing the metro station situated opposite the Akshardham temple over an area of 7.30 acres. The shopping mall and station are to be developed in an area of approximately 3,65,000 sq. ft. “We plan leasing out the area to large retailers, and run food courts,” said Pradeep Jain, Chairman, Parsvnath Developers Ltd.

Parsvnath has already entered into concession agreements to develop shopping malls at 13 stations owned by the Delhi Metro Railway Corporation (DMRC) on a Build-Operate-Transfer basis.

Retail in metro stations is allowed only on two levels — ground and concourse without interfering with operational requirements, Dayal said, adding that retail space in the upcoming underground station at Jawaharlal Nehru stadium would be restricted, fit for perhaps a few kiosks.

In Phase I of Metro development, the model that was used included kiosks and shops at stations. Shops were developed to utilise existing spaces after operational requirements were met. There was no integrated planning in Phase I. Sizes varied from 9-10 sqm for kiosks and 80 sqm for shops. The spaces were generally utilised for ATMs, beverage machines, gift marts, and commuter necessities and at some places even medical shops. Kiosks were generally given out on a three-year lease and shops on a six-year lease.

“We generally go in for open tenders. The price varies depending on the location,” said Dayal.

“Based on our experiences in Phase 1, we’ve made changes in Phase II. We are looking at developers to take over so that spaces are better utilised. We are looking at single developers. We started with kiosks and shops and are now going in for integrated developments generally on a 30 year lease,” he said. This model is to be followed at Azadpur (area 6,500 sq m) and at the Games Village Indraprastha (area 6,500 sq m) on the Yamuna Bank.

There are 130 stations out of 135 around the world that make losses. Ticket fares alone cannot sustain construction costs. Property development activities are essential.

“We are trying out all these models to avoid subsidy. Hence, the need for property development activities. The Hong Kong Metro’s total earnings from such activities is 35-40 per cent and Delhi Metro earnings are almost 30 per cent,” he said.

From 2001-2006, DMRC has earned Rs 500 crores through property development activities. These include advertisements in between stations, inside trains, shops, kiosks, etc.