Rail authority to soon bid for commercial use of land

Having got the Cabinet’s nod to go ahead with leasing land, the Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) is all set to invite bids over the next few days to garner revenues from commercial use of land.

RLDA will follow three models of commercial utilisation, either directly or through joint ventures.

These are: multi-functional complexes (MFCs) , over 40 of which will be developed with Ircon and RITES, commercial sites and modernisation of five stations.

In the current fiscal, the authority expects to receive Rs 400 crore from commercial use of land.

But, out of this, Rs 330 crore is expected from Parsvnath Developers, from a contract awarded to it, a few years ago.

The Indian Railways’ land lease activities had come to a standstill after a Cabinet circular in 2011 had barred all Ministries from leasing land.

MFCs and commercial sites will be offered to developers on a 45-year lease period. In this model, the developer is required to make available facilities for rail users on at least 200 square metre land within the first nine months. On the remaining land, which could be 1,000-3,000 square metre in size, the developer is free to build shops, restaurants, book stalls and budget hotels.

During the demand survey, retail brands such as Pantaloon, Cafe Coffee Day, The Loot, Woodland, WH Smith (Travel News Services) had evinced interest to set up shops at the MFCs. RLDA has lined up 60 new MFC sites and six stand-alone sites for which the bidding process is being initiated in phases. Some of the MFCs will be bid out in joint venture with RITES and Ircon.

STATION UPGRADATION
“Commercial sites will be offered at six locations – Katra, Amritsar, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Bangalore – with a 45-year lease. In commercial sites, we are not dictating the end-use of the land. For instance, we do not specify whether a hotel should be built or office space should be built,” an RLDA official said.

The authority has also been entrusted by the Rail Ministry for modernising five stations at Chandigarh, Anand Vihar (Delhi), Bijwasan (Delhi), Habibganj (Bhopal) and Shivajinagar (Pune).

These stations are being developed through the Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation, a joint venture company created by Ircon and RLDA in which the former is the majority partner.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/logistics/article3866772.ece?ref=wl_industry-and-economy

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