BENGALURU: Top builders in the city have shown interest in redeveloping the Bengaluru Cantonment and Yesvantpur railway stations. This is the railways’ first attempt to remodel stations through public-private partnership.
“We will come to know specific details such as project design and seriousness of the participants on June 1, the last date for participation in the tender process,“ Lakshman Singh, divisional railway manager (works), South Western Railway , said.
Apparently, L&T Realty, Mantri Developers, Brigade group, Prestige group, Godrej properties, Sobha and RMZ Corp have made enquiries and even made site visits.
Suresh Hari, secretary, Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (Credai) said the demand from developers was due to the dearth of quality land in Bengaluru.
“It’s a big challenge to get a good parcel of land in city centre with clear titles. Besides, the plan sanction will also be faster as the project belongs to the railways,“ he said.
The PPP entails that the railways provide 2.25 acres of land adjacent to the Bengaluru Cantonment station and 20 acres of land near the Yesvantpur station to the private partner on a 45-year lease, during which the developer is free to ex ploit it commercially.
The railways has promised to provide encroachment-free land with clear titles, 100% FDI and transparent selection process. In return, the developer would have to redevelop these two stations, which are part of the 20 stations identified for redevelopment across India under Phase I.The redeveloped stations are expected to have wi-fi facility, digital signages, escalators, self-ticketing counters and baggage screening machines.
The process of selection involves two stages. In the first stage, the short-listed applicants will have to prepare a detailed project report on how they want to develop the station as well as the vacant land. The second stage involves bidding.
At the Cantonment station, the railways will provide the 2.25 acres with an indicative cost of `80 crore. At Yesvantpur station, the 20-acre plot will be provided at an indicative cost of `100 crore.
Commuter rail activist Sanjeev Dyamannavar said the project seemed to be providing prime land to builders in the name of redeveloping stations. “The redevelopment seems to be limited to passenger amenities while the bigger focus should have been on creating rail infrastructure. The railways must instead use the funds towards doubling of tracks and electrification as well as decongesting Bengaluru city railway station,“ he said.