Railways, Maharashtra in conflict over Station Area Traffic Improvement Scheme (SATIS)

Mumbai:  The State government and the Railways are yet to arrive at an agreement on the Station Area Traffic Improvement Scheme (SATIS) which was supposed to clear access roads to railway station areas and carry out development around station, with regard to commercial development of the station buildings and grant of FSI by the state.

In a recent meeting of railway and state government officials, the issue of Thane station where the railways have a 8,900 square feet plot on the east was discussed and the railway officials are said to have demanded an FSI of more than 2.

While the officials of the state government are in agreement with the development plans, they have issued concerns on the railways plans for commercial exploitation increasing the congestion around the station area. “The SATIS plan is meant to reduce congestion around stations, but if the railways build malls and carries out commercial development at stations, then footfalls to the station are going up,” said a state official. However, Railway officials argue that the station premises are always a focal point for any place. “Besides, railways have land only around stations, therefore the footfalls are bound to be high and railways cannot be denied its rights,” said a railway official. A decision on this will now be taken on November 7 during a meeting of the officials of the state and railways.

As part of the SATIS plans, the roads leading to the station have to provide clear and easy access to commuters besides providing proper parking places for autos and taxis and ticket counters.

The plan also envisages clearing the station or platforms of obstructions like stalls, canteens and ticket counters and moving them to the first and second floors. The railways will carry out commercial development of the station building and allow the premises to be rented out for commercial purposes.

The Railways are expecting to earn around Rs100 cr from the commercial development and leasing of its developed premises in the Thane station area. Besides, it will also earn revenue every year through rents, which they would put into the development of the station area.

After the commercial development is carried out, the railways will pump in all the money acquired from the leasing out of the premises into the development of the station.