Railway stations to be redeveloped under Smart City Plans

Railway stations to be redeveloped under Smart City Plans
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In a major initiative, railway stations and adjoining areas would be redeveloped on Smart City lines for enhancing passenger amenities, easy access to stations, enabling optimal utilisation of land at railway stations, as a part of Smart City development.

A MoU has been signed in this regard by the Ministries of Urban Development and Railways in the presence of M Venkaiah Naidu and Suresh Prabhu. Dr. Sameer Sharma, Mission Director, Smart City Mission and Rajiv Chaudhary, Advisor, Ministry of Railways signed the MoU.

Both the Ministers lauded the joint initiative as a historic landmark that brings synergy in the development of smart cities since there can’t be a smart city without a smart railway station. Naidu said on the occasion that this convergence based city development would result in qualitative improvement in city life. He suggested the involvement of local people in redevelopment plans.

Naidu suggested that to begin with 10 cities could be taken up for the proposed redevelopment with the involvement of National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) which has successfully executed redevelopment projects on self-financing basis. These cities are Sarai Rohilla (Delhi), Bhubaneswar, Lucknow, Varanasi, Jaipur, Kota, Thane, Margao(Goa), Tirupati and Puducherry. This was agreed to by Railway Minister.

Suresh Prabhu said that railway stations have been the core of city development and have become congested over time and their redevelopment offers immense opportunities for changing city landscape. Stating that redevelopment work of Habibganj railway station has already been awarded and plans for Anand Vihar (Delhi), Surat, Bijwasan and Gandhinagar are in advanced stage. He said that several countries like Germany, France, Japan, South Korea, UK and Belgium have shown interest in redevelopment and a Round Table of domestic and overseas bankers would be organised to discuss financing of these redevelopment projects.

To be implemented first in the 100 cities included in the Smart City Mission, redevelopment of railway stations will be undertaken in AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) and HRIDAY (Heritage Infrastructure Development and Augmentation Yojana) cities extending the scope of the MoU to over 500 cities.

The railway station and the adjoining area in each of these cities would be redeveloped on the lines of Area Based Development provided in the Smart City Mission Guidelines. The average cost of redevelopment of identified area of about 500 acres in the Smart City Plans of 60 cities approved so far comes to about Rs 1,500 crore. The proposed redevelopment involving railway stations envisages improving passenger amenities, easy access to stations, integrated public transport hub, waiting halls and other amenities for passengers, development of residential and commercial spaces, landscaping etc.

Smart City Plans of some cities have already included area based development surrounding railway stations, which include Bhubaneswar, Thane, and Solapur (Maharashtra), Kakinada (Andhra Pradesh), Ahmedabad, Ajmer, Hubli-Dharwad (Karnataka).

Source : Urbannewsdigest



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