Indian Railways Shuts Down This Critical Railway Body: 2nd Closure In 60 Days
The Railway Board has shut down the Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation (IRSDC) as part of a continued effort to rightsize the Railways.
About The IRSDC
IRSDC was a special purpose vehicle (SPV) set up for the redevelopment of stations across the country.
It was established in March 2012 as a joint venture between the Indian Railway Land Development Authority and IRCON.
It was developed with the objective of streamlining all processes for planning, designing, tendering, implementation and management of railway stations in India.
Second Railway Body To Shut
This is the second organisation under the Railway Ministry to be shut down after the closure of the Indian Railways Organisation for Alternative Fuel (IROAF) on September 7, 2021.
The decision comes in agreement of recommendations made by the Finance Ministry.
The closure is being seen as the right move since the amount of manpower the body would require at all locations would itself make it too heavy and unviable.
The Finance Ministry’s report was prepared by Principal Economic Advisor Sanjeev Sanyal.
One suggestion was to either rationalise government bodies by closing them.
The second was the merger of the Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) with the Indian Railway Construction Limited (IRCON).
RVNL implements projects relating to creation and augmentation of railway infrastructure.
IRCON is a specialised infrastructure construction organisation.
Zonal Railways Take Over
Another recommendation was to upgrade all 125 railway hospitals and bring railway schools under the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS).
The stations managed by the IRSDC will be handed over to the respective zonal railways.
It will pass on all project related documents for further development.
Big Projects Affected
It was involved in the bidding process to redevelop the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai.
It had also invited bids to set up “Rail Arcade” at Chandigarh and KSR Bengaluru Railway Stations.
In another project, it was going to undertake facility management of 90 railway stations across South India.
However, the move has now affected plans to develop big-ticket projects.
Among those was the redevelopment of Nagpur station to make it world-class.
The station and others were to be part of a unified hub called “Railopolis” which would attract huge investment and business opportunities.
It will now be handled by the Central Railway.
Another project suffering a setback has been Chandigarh Railway Station’s development work on ‘world class railway station’.
It had already suffered during the pandemic because of which work involving blueprints, proposals, designs, inviting bids, flouting tenders in 2019 were abandoned.
It will now be handled by the Northern Railway and Ambala Railway Division.