India’s first PPP railway station Habibganj to come up near Bhopal (is it the first?)

Mint has this interesting news :

If all goes according to plan, Habibganj in the suburbs of Bhopal will redefine the concept of a railway station in India. The country’s first railway station to be redeveloped as a public-private partnership (PPP), Habibganj is set to become a swanky commercial hub with shops, offices and hotels, all in a span of three years.

The operation and maintenance responsibilities for the station have been given to Bhopal-based Bansal Group for a period of eight years. It has also received four land parcels on a 45-year lease. The group, which operates in the infrastructure and construction sector, also runs a television channel and educational institutions. It won the bid in 2016.

Bansal Group will invest Rs100 crore to overhaul the station which was opened in 1979, and around Rs350 crore to develop four commercial land parcels adding up to 17,245 sq. m.

“We plan to develop the commercial areas in two phases—two office-cum-shopping complexes in the first phase, and under the second phase, a multi-speciality hospital and a budget- and five-star hotel,” said group managing director Sunil Bansal. 

Though, not sure whether this is first. L&T developed the Harbour line station Seawoods Darawe. There could be some others as well.

Further:

Indian Railways has adopted three models for station redevelopment. One is the PPP model, under which a project is planned, statutory clearances obtained and a developer is chosen to upgrade a facility. The second is collaboration with foreign governments to develop stations. The third model is the Swiss Challenge method, where bidders have the freedom to design and develop a project after obtaining approvals on their own. Under this method, the company whose project plan is accepted is given the opportunity to work on the project at the price quoted by the lowest bidder. If it does not accept this, then the project is given to the lowest bidder.

Hmm…

Getting more private players in railway stations is obviously going back to history. Much of India’s iconic railway stations of past were developed by private players..

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