Surat to see Rs 4,650-crore Railway Station redevelopment

A joint venture for undertaking the project will be formed soon, according to the source

SURAT: Indian Railways (IR) will be tying up with the state government and the local body to pool land belonging to all three, a first. The redeveloped station is intended as a multi-model transport hub, with train, commuter rail and bus connectivity. The project is likely to be commissioned by December 2018.

 “The redevelopment plan will be announced soon. We are expecting an expense of Rs 1 crore a sq ft. The money will be put in by the government,” said an official.

About Rs 650 crore would be spend on station redevelopment. The other Rs 4,000 crore would be to develop a commercial complex connected to the multi-modal transport hub.

“A joint venture for undertaking the project will be formed soon,” said the source.

Earlier, the government had invited global bids for the station but got lukewarm response. For the revised project, a concept design has been made by architects C P Kukreja Associates. IR is likely to form a joint venture for this with the state government and local bodies, the area to be developed on a revenue-sharing model. Last year, a memorandum of understanding was signed between IR, Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation and Surat Municipal Corporation in this regard.

The plan is for the railways to hold 63 per cent stake in the project, the state government about 34 per cent and the remaining three per cent by the local body.

By the plan, the redeveloped stations will provide amenities like digital signage, escalators, self-ticketing counters, executive lounges, restaurants, malls, theatres and Wi-Fi.

“This is going to change the face of Surat; we want to make it (the station) one of the largest in Asia. The 140-metre building will be the tallest in the city. A 300-room five-star hotel will be attached to it,” the official added. For the hotel, operational rights have already been given to the Leela group.

Earlier, the Wanda group from China had shown interest in both Gandhinagar and Surat stations but the smaller size (around Rs 400 crore each) of the then designed projects had made it less lucrative for global majors. This was after roadshows in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The Railway Board had reviewed its redevelopment policy after tepid responses from companies for the 23 stations put for bidding in February 2017. On an average redevelopment of a station is expected to cost Rs 400 crore; major ones as in Delhi and Mumbai could see investment up to Rs 15,000 crore.