Railways’ 1st redeveloped station to be inaugurated by PM Modi
Gandhinagar Capital railway station, the country’s first redeveloped station in line with the Narendra Modi government’s plan to modernise railway stations through Public Private Partnerships, will be inaugurated by the Prime Minister on July 16.
“The Station has been provided with world class amenities, at par with modern airports. Special care has been taken to make it a Divyang friendly station... with a special ticket booking counter, ramps, lifts, dedicated parking space etc. The complete building is designed and provided with Green Building rating features. The state-of-the-art external façade will have daily theme based lighting with 32 themes. The station will also house a five star hotel,” the PMO said in a statement on Wednesday.
Station redevelopment is planned by leveraging real estate potential of separable land and air space in and around the stations, through private participation. These redeveloped hubs will be called Railopolis.
For the Gandhinagar Capital station, a joint venture special purpose vehicle (SPV) namely Gandhinagar Railway and Urban Development (GARUD) was formed with equity contribution of government of Gujarat (GoG) and Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Limited (IRSDC) in the ratio of 74:26 respectively.
The station facilities include segregated entry and exit through landscaped area, Divyang friendly special ticket-booking counter, ramps, lifts, dedicated parking space, inter-faith prayer hall – a first for Indian Railways, dedicated exclusive art gallery with live LED wall display lounge.
It also has a state of the art external façade with daily theme-based lighting, separate baby feeding room, centralised AC waiting lounge with variable control.
In October 2019, the government had decided to set up a committee to draft a blueprint for transferring operations of 150 trains and 50 railway stations to private players. Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant in a letter to then railway board chairman VK Yadav, chairman, Railway Board had stated that an empowered group be formed to drive the process in a time-bound manner.
HT in March reported that Centre may first lease out 90 railway stations on Public Private Partnership basis through IRSDC, the Indian Railways’ nodal agency for station redevelopment. The Railway Board is also mulling whether the provision of security infrastructure should be excluded or whether the railways should replicate the airport model.