NEW DELHI :
At a time when investor sentiment is dampened due to the outbreak of the covid-19 crisis, state-owned Indian Railway Stations Development Corp. Ltd (IRSDC) has received interest from infrastructure majors such as GR Infrastructure, Kalyan Toll, Cube Construction, I Squared Capital among others, to redevelop the four railway stations–Gwalior, Nagpur, Amritsar and Sabarmati and transform them into city centres.
The indicative cost for redevelopment of the above four stations is around ₹1,300 crore. These redeveloped stations will be called as ‘Railopolis’, and the government aims to attract huge investment from this.
IRSDC had on Friday opened RFQs (Request for Qualification)—a process of pre-qualification and shortlisting of bidders–applications of these four railway stations. “JKB, GMR, ISQ Capital, Kalpataru, FairFax/Anchorage, Monte Carlo, GR Infrastructure, Kalyan Toll, Cube Construction are some of the names from whom applications have been received,” an official statement said. After shortlisting the applicants, Request for Proposal (RFP) will be called, in which bids will be submitted, after which project work will begin.
Out of the 32 applications, nine were received for Sabarmati station in Ahmedabad. The total built up area allowed for commercial development is 54 lakh sq ft. No land use change and prior environmental clearance is required for these projects, IRSDC said.
“The four projects hold distinction of being the first railway projects to have in principle approval of Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPPAC), formed by government of India for PPP (public private partnership) projects,” it said. These four stations are also the first ones to have provision of pre-determined user charges on passengers and visitors as one of the main revenue stream for the concessionaire of the redeveloped stations.
“The initial response to the RFQ (request for qualification) is quite encouraging, while details are awaited regarding the nature of bidders. Long concession period with the flexibility of charging user fees has indeed made this set of stations quite attractive to the prospective bidders,” agannarayan Padmanabhan, Director & Practice Lead, Transport & Logistics at CRISIL Infrastructure Advisory said, adding that it will be good for IRSDC to quickly follow through on the RFQ and shortlist the potential bidders who are eligible to submit the financial bid.