Mumbai CST railways' pride, not altering its facade, structure during redevelopment: Goyal

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New Delhi, Mar 19 (PTI) Terming the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in Mumbai the pride of railways, Union minister Piyush Goyal Friday said there is no question of altering its facade, structure or beauty after its development under the PPP model The station is being redeveloped to add more facilities, but its heritage part would not be altered, he assured Rajya Sabha.

Replying to supplementaries during the Question Hour, Goyal said he is particular about ensuring that wherever stations are redeveloped, their local identity, culture and traditional look are not hurt or damaged.

Local heritage experts are also being consulted during the redevelopment process, he said.

'Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus is the pride of Indian Railways and there is no question that in any manner its facade, structure or beauty will be changed. Efforts are on how to enhance it and add more facilities to the station,' he told the house.

It has been noticed that during peak hours, a large crowd tries to enter the station as well as exit it and efforts are underway to resolve this, he said.

If the entry and exit points are segregated, it will benefit passengers, he said.

'The CSMT development does not impact the heritage side of the station. The development is being done on the Demello road side and not on the heritage side,' he informed.

'We have recently developed Habibganj station, where a private person has invested Rs 100 crore in PPP partnership. It has been beautified and the person who has developed the station would recover his invested money in 30 years through added facilities and after 30 years the property remains with the Railways, including the Rs 100 crore investment made to redevelop it. This is called monetisation, where without selling it the facilities to the public are improved,” Goyal said.

He said the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is also being developed on those lines so that the convenience of travel is improved within the station and the passengers get better facilities like in other stations elsewhere in the world.

The railways minister also informed that the Pune station of central Railway was in February 2017 included in the redevelopment plan, but it did not get a good response.

'We are trying to make it more attractive for inclusion in station redevelopment plan,' he said.

Replying to another question, he said the Bhubaneswar railway station is being redeveloped and a detailed project report (DPR) has been completed and the railways is working out details.

Some other stations in Odisha have also been identified for redevelopment, and their DPRs are being prepared, he said.

Asked as to on what basis the Railways chooses the stations for redevelopment, the minister said normally the demand and footfall is the biggest indicator and then the revenue potential is assessed.

'We do not overlook other stations, Railways provide amenities there from its own resources and some stations are developed as they are important from religious point of view,' he said, giving the example of railway station in Amritsar which he added has its importance due to the Golden temple. In his written reply, the minister said, 'The Ministry of Railways endeavours to redevelop railway stations through private sector participation under Public Private Partnership mode (PPP). Works of redevelopment of Habibganj is at advanced stage. Works for redevelopment of Gomti Nagar station are under process.' He said Request for Qualification (RFQ) have been finalized for eight stations - Nagpur, Amritsar, Sabarmati, Gwalior, Puducherry, Tirupati, Nellore and Dehradun and RFQs have been invited for three stations - New Delhi, Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus and Ernakulum, while contracts have been awarded for redevelopment of Safdarjung and Ajni (Nagpur) stations.

Goyal said a Group of Secretaries (GoS) was constituted by Ministry of Railways for redevelopment of 50 railway stations on PPP mode.

'The GoS has inter-alia suggested the levy of user fee for redevelopment of stations. Stations have been entrusted to Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) and Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation (IRSDC) for conducting techno-economic feasibility studies. Based on the outcome of such studies, stations are taken up for redevelopment in phases.

'A redeveloped station envisages to provide improved/enhanced facilities at stations which include congestion free non-conflicting entry/exit to the station premises, segregation of arrival/departure of passengers, adequate concourse area without overcrowding, integration of both sides of the city, integration with other modes of transport systems e.g. Bus, Metro, etc., user friendly international signage, well illuminated circulating area and sufficient provision for drop off, pick up & parking etc,” he said in his written reply. PTI SKC TIR TIR