Railway land to be exploited to fund revamp of stations

Mumbai: The railways has decided to undertake commercial exploitation of its land to generate funds for the improvement of facilities at suburban stations in and around the city.

The idea is to generate revenue by offering establishments the use of space not required by the railways. The Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC) has been entrusted with the task of inviting bids for the land and airspace above stations.

“On July 16, an MoU will be signed between the MRVC and the Railway Land Development Authority to carry forward the process of identifying the stations and inviting and finalizing bids for the project,” Railway Board Member (Engineering) Mr.Subodh Jain said.

To begin with, the MRVC will explore the possibility of commercial exploitation at Mulund, Bhandup and Thane stations. Around a third of the funds generated will be used to improve suburban railway facilities. The remaining two-third share will be allotted to the Indian Railways for use within and outside the state.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) has been appointed the consultant for the project, said an MRVC official.

“We will also put the proposal before the state government to enable the change of land use from operations purpose to commercial purpose,” the official said.

Jain said the MRVC had also identified seven other suburban stations for a major overhaul. “The MRVC will be able to finance this work through the MUTP funded by the World Bank,” he said.

It is also learnt that the Railway Board is likely to grant the sanction for turning Parel into a terminus within a fortnight.