Now, top brands eye railway complexes

Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA), a statutory authority established by the ministry of railways for generating non-tariff revenue from railway land, on Thursday said that Tata Group’s Ginger Hotels has evinced keen interest in its multi-functional complexes (MFCs) in several locations across the country.

“They have not bid for any of the MFCs yet, but they are expected to participate in the forthcoming bids. They are interested to set up budget hotels in the MFCs,” RLDA general manager Anil Kumar Gupta said during a pre-bid conference in Hyderabad on Thursday.

Indian Railways had introduced the concept of MFCs at railway stations for developing facilities for rail users at one centralised complex. Facilities such as shopping, restaurants, book stalls, ATMs, medicine and variety stores, budget hotels, parking etc are to be provided in a MFC.

According to RLDA, several leading brands, including retail, hotel chains and developers such as Pantaloon, Café Coffee Day, The Loot, Woodland, Apodis Hospitality, Krishnan Palace Residency, WH Smith have expressed interest.

RLDA will be closing the bidding process for 75 MFCs this financial year and has appointed real estate consultants Knight Frank and Jones Lang LaSalle for marketing the MFC sites. Meanwhile, RLDA has invited bids for commercial development of MFCs at eight stations in Andhra Pradesh at Dharmavaram, Karimnagar, Kurnool Town, Nellore, Nizamabad, Vijayawada, Zahirabad and Kacheguda. We expect to get bids worth Rs 22 crore from AP,” Gupta said.

Apart from MFCs, RLDA has also earmarked sites for commercial development of surplus railway land in Bandra, Katra, Amritsar, Chennai, Vijayawada, Aurangabad, Vishakhapatnam and Bangalore. “These lands are also going to be offered for bidding for leasing up to 45 years. These sites are attractively located in the respective cities and are suitable for shopping malls, entertainment, offices, hotels and other such real estate developments,” Gupta said.

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