February 27, 2017 9:05:49 am
THE PROCESS of awarding contracts to redevelop the Pune Railway Station and convert it into an “airport like edifice” has commenced with the Central Railway inviting experts from various fields to evaluate proposals from private firms. An independent committee of noted experts will be set up by April after which proposals from private firms will be invited to redevelop the station.Besides Pune Station, there are three other stations from the Central Railway that have been included in 23 stations across the country that are going to be redeveloped under this plan by the Railway Ministry. The scheme, which will adopt the “Swiss Challenge” method of awarding the contracts to private bodies, will result in modernisation of selected railway stations by exploitation of the free land and air space with the railways.Under the plan, stations will have state-of-the-art facilities, separate entry and exit points, connectivity with local transportation, pick-up or drop-off points and access among other things.
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“We have invited experts from various fields including architects, those with know-how of real estate sector and financial experts to come forward to be a part of the Independent Committee of Eminent Experts whose job would be to go through the proposals presented by private firms that will submit the plans to us. The idea is to make the selection process transparent and more inclusive. We are hoping that the committee will be formed by end of April,” a senior official with the Central Railway said.
Officials with the Pune Division said the redevelopment will happen on 15 key parameters that have been identified by the centralised body, which is in charge of the redevelopment. Among them are separate arrival and departure terminals, easy connectivity with local transportation such as a bus or Metro and accessibility from both sides of the city. Parcel movement across the platforms will be restricted and facilities such as food courts, retail outlets and medical facilities will be provided at the railway stations. Helipads near railway stations may also be built.
B K Dadabhoy, Divisional Railway Manager for Pune, said plans such as these are part of the scheme to increase the non-fare revenue while providing the passengers with world-class facilities they deserve. “This is the way forward to generate non-fare revenue for the railways given that fares cannot be increased indefinitely and indiscriminately,” said Dadabhoy. After evaluating the proposals, the selected design will be uploaded over the Ministry of Railways website. Financial bids will be invited and the developer quoting the highest premium will win the bid. However, the project developer, who had originally submitted the plan, will be given an opportunity to match the bid amount.
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