India’s 1st Private Railway Station, Habibganj, Will Have A 5-Star Hotel, Multi-specialty Hospital And More…
[Image for representation purposes only]
The details are finally out, and from the looks of it, India’s 1st private railway station is going to be a killer.
5-star hotel, multi-specialty hospital and a lot more would be included in this first ever railway station to be developed under Public-Private Partnership model (PPP) at Habibganj, near Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.
The result from this unique experiment will determine much more for the railways because this is their most ambitious ever push for non-fare revenues.
And it may just click.
India’s 1st Private Railway Station: How Will It Work?
Bhopal-based Bansal Group has been given the lease of the entire Habibganj Railway station for a period of 8 years, besides getting a 45-year lease for 4 land parcels, which would be developed and optimised for generating revenues for Indian railways.
As per preliminary reports, Bansal Group will invest Rs 100 crore to develop and overhaul the 37-year-old railway station and invest Rs 350 crore in developing the 4 land parcels in and around the railway station.
Indian Railway Station Development Corporation (IRSDC) managing director and chief executive officer S.K. Lohia said, “The management of the Habibganj railway station was given to the Bansal Group on March 1, 2017. They will be taking care of all the facilities at the station like food stalls, retiring rooms, power, platform maintenance, parking,”
Some of the plans which have been shared by Bansal Group regarding optimisation and monetization of the land and railway station:
- Habibganj railway station would be developed as a world-class transit hub
- Central concourse with amenities for waiting passengers
- Segregation of the railway passengers, based on arrivals and departures (like in the airports)
- Powered by solar energy
- 6 lifts, 11 escalators, 3 travelators, 2 underpasses measuring 4 meters each for arriving passengers
- Parking space for 300 cars, 850 two-wheelers, rickshaws, taxis and buses
- Two office cum shopping complex will be developed in the first phase
- Multi-speciality hospital and 5-star hotel to be developed in the second phase
- In case of emergency, the entire complex would be vacated in 4 minutes; and everyone can reach designated safe locations in 6 minutes
- Total of 17,245 sqm of railway land would be commercially developed for monetization
Non-Fare Revenue Push: The Railways’ Way
The whole project is a major part of Indian Railways’ push for generating more revenues via non-fare mediums. In the month of April, we had reported about the privatisation of the trains, and railway stations and the process has now started.
For this Habibganj project, the entire workflow would be monitored by Indian Railway Station Development Corporation (IRSDC), which is a special purpose vehicle created by railway unit Ircon International Ltd (IRCON) and Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA).
Their only objective is to increase revenues while utilising land & railway stations owned by Indian Railways. Current West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has originally introduced this concept in 2009-10, which was then researched and developed.
Habibganj railway station project is the start of modernization and optimisation of more than 400 A1 and A category railway stations, across India. Right now, IRSDC is undertaking the same initiatives across Anand Vihar (Delhi), Bijwasan (Delhi), Chandigarh, Surat (Gujarat), Mohali (Punjab) and Gandhinagar (Gujarat).
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