Rlys lists 75 spots for multi-functional complexes

The railway department has drawn up a list of 75 more multi-functional complexes (MFCs) on land adjacent to stations and hopes to earn, through private participation, around Rs 1,000 crore this fiscal.

The Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) initiated the bidding process for the commercial complexes, which would include food stalls, restaurants, book stalls, ATMs and parking lots, said a senior ministry official.

According to the official, Dehradun, Ujjain, Vasai Road, Anand, Somnath, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, Gulbarga, Vijayawada, Amritsar, Amethi and Chandigarh will have the MFCs.

The RLDA is holding meeting in Hyderabad on Thursday to invite bids for commercial development of the MFCs at eight stations in cities of tourist and religious interest of Andhra Pradesh that include Dharmavaram, Karimnagar, Kurnool Town, Nellore, Nizamabad, Vijayawada, Zahirabad and Kacheguda.


Parsvnath pays Rs 501cr instalment to RLDA for Delhi rail land

Realty firm Parsvnath Developers today said it has paid Rs 500.86 crore instalment to the Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) against the 38 acres of rail land that it had bought for Rs 1,651 crore.

Parsvnath had bought this land, located at Sarai Rohilla- Kishanganj in the national capital, from RLDA in 2010 through an auction.

“The company has so far made payments of three instalments together with interest aggregating to Rs 1,161.46 crore,” Parsvnath Group Chairman Pradeep Jain said in a statement.

In May this year, a development agreement was executed between RLDA and Parsvnath Rail Land Project, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) incorporated for implementing this project.

The company will develop luxury apartments, commercial/ shopping areas, railway housing, railway service building & common facilities, Hospital/School and other amenities.

Parsvnath has appointed Callison LLC of USA as architect for the project in co-ordination with architect Sikka & Associates.

The company will develop this project in partnership with private equity firm Red Fort Capital.


Railways country’s largest landowner: Survey

The Indian Railway has emerged as the single largest landowner in the country, according to a survey.
A recent comprehensive survey by an international property consultancy firm, Jones Lang LaSalle India, reveals that Indian Railway is the single-largest owner of lands in this country which has approximately 1,06,254 acres of vacant land under its purview.

More importantly, large chunks of the railway land are lying futile especially in urban and suburban areas where there is a shortage of housing, says the study.

According to the study, defence services have approximately 17,00,000 acres of land in its ownership, but it has several departments that control this land. The survey found that the Airports Authority of India owns around 49,420 acres of land. The country’s various port authorities hold a substantial chunk of approximately 2,58,000 acres, out of which approximately 20 per cent is not usable. Santhosh Kumar, CEO — operations, JLL said, “If the Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) has the objectives to maximise revenues from its assets, then the process followed by the National Textile Corporation for their defunct mill lands would probably be a better route for RLDA.” However, property market expert Sandip Sadh feels otherwise. “It is not the time for railways to press the panic button and go for bidding or commercial exploitation of its land. Let there be a national-level policy for development for such reserved land so that affordability can be considered,” he opined.

When contacted, A.K. Gupta, member of real estate and urban planning division of RLDA said that the process of inviting tenders has already begun. He said, “We are hopeful of embarking upon this process in a phased manner.”


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.


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.

“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.


Railway seeks pvt help to develop 93 stations

KOLKATA: The Indian Railways has invited bids from private developers for creating multi-functional complexes (MFCs) in 93 railway stations across its entire network. With operating revenues under severe strain, the move is in step with the railways’ efforts to open up new revenue streams by generating cash from non-core assets.

These include three stations each under East Central, North Central and North Eastern Railway, including Gorakhpur, four stations under West Central, Central railway (like Gulburga, Wardha), South and North western, five under East Coast and South East Central Railways, six in Northern Railway and Western Railway (like Vasai Road and Lokmanya Tilak Terminus), seven under North EastFrontier (Agartala, Dibrugarh town), Southern Railway and South Eastern railway like Tatanagar, Jhargram, Bishnupur, and nine under South central.

The single largest chunk of MFCs —some 17 of them — are due to come up under Eastern Railway alone. This includes Asansol, Kalyani, Murshidabad, Malda Town, Ballygunj, Dhakuria.

The railways have asked Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) to develop the MFCs. RLDA, which is a separate arm under the ministry of railways and develops railway land for commercial use, will choose plots out of railway land pool and develop these plots on a long-term lease basis. The prospective partner or the developer will have to design, finance, construct, operate, market and maintain these MFCs. “This is the first time such an attempt is being made by Indian Railways to use space around stations,” a railway ministry official said.

These MFCs are supposed to provide railway users facilities like shopping, food stalls and restaurants, book stalls, PCO booths, ATMs, medicine shops and variety stores. Additionally, budget hotels, parking and other amenities will also be made available at these spaces.

The railways have invited expressions of interest (EoIs) from prospective developers either on their individual basis or in a consortium. Depending on the response, RLDA will decide the eligibility criteria, terms and conditions of the bidding and whether these MFCs could be developed through a clustering of stations.

RLDA is in the process of identifying the location and plot sizes. Ideally, such plots will be located near stations that will ensure easy access and steady footfall. The plot sizes are expected to vary between 1000 and 3000 square metres. However, depending on the availability of land in and around stations, the plot sizes could also range from 200 sq m to a few hectares.


Rail authority to form JV for Mumbai plot

Bangalore: The Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) is likely to form a joint venture (JV) for its plot of land near the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC), a business district in Mumbai, following a consultation with potential bidders, a top official said.

The estimated reserve price for the land auction is Rs4,000 crore.

RLDA, which had earlier failed to lease the 45,300 sq. m plot for an 80-year period, met 28 developers, including DLF Ltd, Unitech Ltd, Emaar MGF Land Ltd and DB Realty Ltd on Friday.

Most of the developers at the meeting pitched for a JV with a revenue-sharing model between RLDA and the successful bidder, said A.K. Gupta, general manager (projects) at RLDA.

The authority hopes to float the bids soon after it designs the structure of the venture, Gupta said, without specifying a deadline. The auction was originally planned for March.

The attempt to get feedback from potential bidders before the auction comes in the backdrop of last year’s liquidity crunch and a failed land auction at BKC earlier this month by another entity due to steep prices, say property consultants.

“The JV model will work well for developers because they don’t have to put in high capital investment initially and can put in money in phases,” said Param Desai, a research analyst with Angel Broking Ltd. The revenue-sharing system will also allow for the profits to be distributed between the two parties, he said.

RLDA was constituted in 2006 to develop vacant railway land for commercial use.

Gupta said the idea to informally meet the developers was not how most government organizations worked. “We have always followed a unilateral structure for bids, which was one-sided. But now we think it’s important to involve the other side and incorporate their suggestions too,” said Gupta.

RLDA, which is looking to sell land in Kolkata, Chennai, Aurangabad and Jamanagar, is holding similar sessions with potential bidders for those plots as well.

A Mumbai developer, who was present at the Friday meeting with RLDA, said the fact that a part of the land is embroiled in litigation is a bit of a dampener. “If the land title is clear and the joint venture model is reasonable, we will bid for it,” he said on condition of anonymity.

The previous big-ticket land auction was by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority on 3 March, when not a single bid was submitted for a BKC plot priced at Rs3 lakh per sq. m.


Automation of Rail Land Development Authority

After the completion of computerization, RLDA’s next project is to automated Railways land management for which it plans to deploy an ERP system according to it’s Joint General Manager-IT, Ashok Kumar Gupta

Indian Railways (IR) has hectares of vacant land and waste land that is not required for operational purposes in the foreseeable future. Such land would be identified by the zonal railways and the details thereof would be advised to the Railway Board. These plots of land would thereafter be entrusted to the Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) by the Railway Board in phases for commercial development. The business processes involved had to be standardized and automated.

RLDA is an autonomous body created under the Ministry of Railways by a Special Act of Parliament. As the organization’s staff is not well-versed in IT it is a Herculean task to create an environment for the implementation of an IT project. To provide good governance and make an IT project successful is the biggest challenge that we faced.

The ERP system for land management will have modules for land management, project management, employee management and financial management with regular and exceptional MIS and real-time alerts to all concerned.

The process of developing a request for proposal (RFP) is already on in order to select the appropriate vendors/system integrators for facilitating the implementation of the ERP system and provide the requisite hardware and network components.

For a smoother flow of information

Computerization kicked of with a government-centric mission i.e. technology within, for facilitating the flow of information within a department and later from one department to another. But now with the introduction of e-governance projects, the transformation has been effected and information is no longer the privilege of a select few but rather it flows from the government to the citizens. This is how e-governance has become helpful to the common man who can now interact with the system directly and have his grievances redressed rather than depend upon the middlemen in the hierarchy who have been fleecing the common man.

About RLDA

Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) is a statutory Authority, under the Ministry of Railways, set-up by an Amendment to the Railways Act, 1989, for development of vacant railway land for commercial use for the purpose of generating revenue by non-tariff measures.

– As told to Vinita Gupta


Published in: on August 28, 2009 at 4:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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