IRSDC plans to organise a Global Design Competition for Station Upgrade ideas

At present, the contracts for redevelopment of Habibganj and Gandhinagar have already been awarded.

NEW DELHI: To pool in fresh design ideas for redevelopment of stations, Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation (IRSDC) plans to organise a global design competition. A panel will be formed comprising of reputed architects and railway officials who will examine entries and select two-three entries initially, after which a final entry will be selected for each station. The ministry of railways plans to redevelop 400-plus stations across the country wherein commercial rights for usage of railway land will be given to developers who in turn will redevelop the stations and maintain them. At present, contracts for redevelopment of Habibganj and Gandhinagar have already been awarded.

“Right now the norms and documents are being put together as it has to be objective and the panel needs to be chosen very carefully,” said railway ministry official requesting anonymity, and added it is crowd-sourcing of ideas which to bring in innovation. IRSDC, a special purpose vehicle formed jointly by IRCON  International Ltd and Rail Land Development Authority to develop and redevelop railway stations, will oversee the entire process.

Railway Board has given consent to turn IRSDC into a self-run company headed by Managing Director and a functional board.

The national carrier has already started six innovation challenges which are open to public. These include identifying sources to increase non-fare revenue, freight wagon designing, increasing carrying capacity of passenger coaches, and developing new digital capabilities, among others. When the redevelopment of a station will start, the winning designer for that station will be associated with the developer. “It will be binding on the developer to accept the winning design and the developer can further improvise the design,” added the official. The consultant while preparing the detailed project report will include the design in the proposal and then it will be placed for bids.

The railways has postponed the contract awarding date for Anand Vihar station as some land titles are yet to be cleared and developers are demanding clean land titles. The paperwork for Brijwasan station is expected to be completed by the month-end and will be put up for bids. In total, 23 stations have been identified in the first round of the station redevelopment programme which will be put up for bids. “As developers have asked for more time to put together concepts, we may be extending the tender dates which were advised on 8 February. The bid due date should have been end May,” said the official. The railways is at present addressing the pre-bid queries of developers.