Railway land to be exploited to fund revamp of stations

The railways has decided to commercially exploit its land to generate funds for the improvement of facilities at suburban stations in and around the city.

The idea is to generate revenue by offering establishments the use of space not required by the railways. The Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) has been entrusted with the task of inviting bids for the land and airspace above stations.

“On July 16, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) will be signed between the MRVC and the Railway Land Development Authority to carry forward the process of identifying the stations and inviting and finalizing bids for the project,” Railway Board member (engineering) Subodh Jain said.

To begin with, the MRVC will explore the possibility of commercial exploitation of land at Mulund, Bhandup and Thane stations.
Around a third of the funds generated will be used to improve suburban railway facilities. The remaining twothird share will be allotted to the Indian Railways for use within and outside the state.

Price water house Coopers has been appointed the consultant for the project, said an MRVC official.
“We will also put the proposal before the state government to enable the change of land use from operations purpose to commercial purpose,” the official said.

Jain said the MRVC had also identified seven other suburban stations for a major overhaul. “The MRVC will be able to finance this work through the MUTP funded by the World Bank,” he said.

It is also learnt that the Railway Board is likely to grant the sanction for turning Parel into a terminus within a fortnight.


THE IDEA | An MoU is to be signed between MRVC and Railway Land Development Authority for commercial exploitation of land or airspace above stations. A third of the funds generated will be used to improve suburban infrastructure


The railways has land at Bhandup, Mulund and Thane stations
The quantum of land available for exploitation will be identified by the consultant, Price water house Coopers
Thane, Mulund, Bhandup identified for improvement
Station upgrade includes relocation of booking and administrative offices, better platforms and toilets, and facilities to aid dispersal of commuters.


Railways to exploit LTT land to fund CST makeover

Railway authorities are expecting revenue of around Rs.600 crore through commercial exploitation of around 20 acres of open land at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT).

Sources said this was the Railways’ Plan B in its effort to hasten the ambitious project of developing CST as a world-class station that has been stuck in a heritage tangle for the past three years.

Although it was announced in the railway budget of 2009-10, the development of CST, tagged as a world heritage site, as a world-class station, failed to take off as UNESCO turned down the Railways’ plea to rationalise the buffer zone around CST. A few months ago, it had asked railway authorities to carry out a heritage impact study. Concerned about the future of the project, authorities started exploring other avenues to fund the project.

The Railways had first planned commercial development of its land at Carnac Bunder, to generate revenue for the CST project. Now, authorities are mulling the commercial exploitation of land at LTT. At Carnac Bunder, authorities were planning budget hotels, malls, multi-storey parking and food courts. A top CR official said, “Our estimate is that through commercial development at LTT, we can generate at least Rs600 crore in revenue.”

The ‘Railway Land Development Authority’ (RLDA), the apex body that decides about commercial exploitation of railway land, is now going to study the actual valuation of land through consultants. Pankaj Jain, vice chairman of RLDA, was in town recently to explore the possibility of commercial development of land at LTT, Thane and Haji Bunder.

Jain inspected Thane station and discussed with CR general manager, Subodh Jain, various issues related to the commercial development of railway land.

“At Thane station we have planned to develop a multi-functional station with various passenger amenities such as dormitories, waiting rooms and food courts,” Subodh Jain said.

Subodh Jain also said they had asked RLDA to appoint a consultant to study what could be done to develop railway land at Haji Bunder, where the Railways have another huge piece of land.