BJP-ruled states get more in stations redevelopment plan
It's a windfall of government projects for Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled states. In a latest, states either under BJP or its alliance's rule have been selected under the Railways Ministry's project to redevelop 23 stations with ultra modern facilities.
While launching the projects aimed at transforming the face of Indian Railways, Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu said, "Railway stations are a place where lots of people wait to board a train and thus station can be developed into an iconic property. The project of re-developing 400 A1 and A category stations is the biggest non-fare revenue generating programme which will be done on PPP model."
Railways will provide approximately 140 acres of encroachment free land at these stations to the developers on a 45 year lease. The phase is expected to be of Rs 6000 -9,000 crore in size.
Interestingly, the Railways Ministry has preferred least revenue generating stations over those stations that add sizable amount to the exchequer.
The stations that has been selected under the first phase for redevelopment include Ranchi, Udaipur City, Indore, Bhopal, Kamakhya, Faridabad, Jammu Tawi, Pune, Thane, Borivali, Mumbai Central, Hawarah, Chennai Central, Yesvantpur, Bangalore Cantt, Visakhapatnam, Secunderabad, Vijayawada and Kozhikode.
Maharatshtra, the home state of Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu, has got major share as its four stations have been selected for the redevelopment, followed by Madhya Pradesh whose two stations would be redeveloped with ultra modern facilities.
Other BJP-ruled states that have been selected for developing their railways stations, which is estimated to be Rs 1 lakh crore-project, include Jharkhand, Assam, Haryana and Rajasthan.
A few stations of Andhra Pradesh, where BJP is an ally of ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP), have also found their place in the first phase redevelopment programme. West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Assam have also been selected under historic redevelopment plan.
Two railways stations have been selected from poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, but names were not announced as model code of conduct is in place in the state.
Interestingly, stations like Patna, Kalyan, Itarsi, Allahabad, Mughal Sarai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, which are among the busiest stations, have been kept out from the list of the first phase. Patna is situated on one of the busiest rail routes of the country and the station connects to most of the major cities by the railway network.