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Indian Railways embarks upon ambitious Railopolis development plan

Through the participation of private players, workspaces, entertainment, and accommodation facilities are sought to be developed at important railway stations.

The Indian Railways is looking at redeveloping 123 railway stations at an estimated investment of Rs 50,000 crore. Its arms, Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation (IRSDC) and the Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) are roping in the private sector to achieve optimal outcomes.

The most visible manifestation of this programme is the proposed redevelopment of Mumbai’s iconic Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus. The aim is to create a ‘Railopolis’, along the lines of airports that embody mixed-use development. Once completed, the revamped station would allow for workspaces, entertainment, and accommodation opportunities while strengthening its core credentials as a transport hub.

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, one of Mumbai’s foremost landmarks and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is pegged as one of the stations that will undergo a modernisation of facilities. Image: Traveldine/Priya Pathiyan.

Factoring financing and contingency, the mandatory re-development cost of the station is Rs 1,642 crore. Private players are being invited to participate in the project on a DBFOT (Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer) basis.

The response has been encouraging. Nine real estate development firms – Oberoi Realty, Godrej Properties Limited, Adani Railways, ISQ Asia Infrastructure Investments Pte Ltd Anchorage Infrastructure Investments Holdings Limited, Moribus Holdings Pvt Ltd. Kalpataru Power Transmission Ltd., GMR Enterprises and BIF IV Infrastructure Holding DIFC Pvt. Ltd. – have qualified for the Request for Quotation (RFQ) stage. The ISRDC will soon float a Request for Proposal (RFP) to the qualified bidders.

The proposed new look and amenities that will turn Surat Railway Station into a ‘Railopolis’. Image: Courtesy IRSDC.

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