Mumbai: Multi-storey structures with modern amenities have been planned for the redevelopment of busy suburban stations, the guidelines for which have been finalised by the Railway Board. Swanky buildings with state-of-the-art facilities, not to mention of medical centres and helipads at terminuses, and office complexes at major suburban stations are some of the guidelines laid down for the redevelopment of selected stations in the city, the plans for which have been finalised. Work is expected to begin this financial year.
Under the Mumbai Urban Transport Project 3, the suburban stations to be redeveloped are Mumbai Central, Lower Parel, Dadar (W), Bandra, Andheri, Goregaon, Borivali, Mira Road, Bhayandar and Virar on the Western line, and Dadar (C), Kurla, Ghatkopar, Mulund, Thane, Dombivli, Kalyan and Shahad on the Central line, besides Wadala Road and Chembur on the Harbour Line.
The Railway Board has also listed a number of stations in the A1 and A category (outstation trains) for redevelopment, including Mumbai CST, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, Kalyan, Dadar, Thane, Panvel, Mumbai Central and Bandra Terminus.
There are 15 broad guidelines for the redevelopment. These include a station building with an iconic structure and all modern facilities, congestion-free entry/exit points, segregation of arrival/departure of passengers and adequate concourse besides user-friendly international signage understandable by all sections of society.
The redeveloped stations will also have essential facilities including catering, small retail stalls, washrooms, ATM, pharmacy, internet facility, etc. The stations will be integrated with other modes of public/private transport systems, both on the east and west.
Interestingly, Clause 11 and 12 of the indicative facilities calls for a helipad and medical centres at the stations.
The guidelines further state that the buildings should have well illuminated circulating areas with optimum use of natural ventilation and lighting, sufficient provision for pick-up and drop facilities and parking. While designing the stations, provisions must be made for future expansion of platforms/lines, etc.
An official told Mirror that the business aspect of the plan will be such that the money gained from real estate development will be sufficient to cover the entire cost of station redevelopment.
“To ensure we receive only serious proposals, we have taken certain precautions like the interested party needs to have proper understanding of the Railway’s needs and should be interacting with field officials. All proposals will be examined for feasibility by a Standing Technical Committee and then by a Standing Financial Committee. This will ensure the proposal does not fall through,” the official said.
Once this is done, the proposals will be examined by an independent committee of eminent experts having domain knowledge, who will be nominated by the general manager.
“Most stations are simple basic structures with platforms, a roof and a permanent station building, that was built decades ago,” the official said. “The redevelopment project will convert Mumbai’s main stations into comprehensive transport hubs, the kind of which the city truly deserves.”