Surat Multi-modal Transport Hub project could begin in 2018 – process to set up SPV completed

SURAT: The actual work to redevelop Surat railway station as a world-class railway station would begin in the second half of 2018. The process to set up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for it has been completed by Indian Railway Station Development Corporation (IRSDC).

However, the final decision on the mode of finance for the Rs 5,000 crore is yet to be decided.

IRSDC MD and CEO Sanjiv Lohia told TOI that Indian Railways has 63 per cent, Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation 34 per cent and SMC three per cent stake in the SPV named Surat Integrated Transport Development Corporation Limited (SITCO).

“Airports Authority of India (AAI) had expressed its reservation in granting approval for the proposed 61 floor buildings to be constructed during redevelopment because it came in the flight path of aircraft. The issue has been sorted out and AAI would grant approval for 140 metre high buildings at the project site,” Lohia said.

Floor Space Index (FSI) of 4 would be granted by SMC for the project, which will come up on around 2.50 lakh square metre of land. Initially, four 61 floor buildings were envisaged, but now six 42 floor buildings would be constructed at the same site, sources said. The project upon its completion would become a multi-model transport hub (MMTS) that would integrate GSRTC, BRTS and city bus services with metro and high speed rail corridor and public and private transport, including railways and autorickshaws.

“Our new concept design would consume the entire FSI fully without compromising on development design. Care will be taken to maintain built up area and ensure complete integration of all aspects of the project which would be a landmark in India,” Lohia said.

With planning and conceptualization of the project almost complete, the next meeting of stakeholders would focus on deciding on the mode of finance for it. Railway minister Piyush Goyal is expediting the project’s implementation.

The project will be completed within seven to 10 years from the day when ground breaking ceremony is held. SMC has already started widening of the roads in the proposed area of development.