A railway station that looks more like a commercial hub swanked by shops, offices and hotels.
Hard to imagine, right?
But the Indian Railways has other plans in its mind.
Habibganj, one of the suburbs in the city of Bhopal, will soon have a railway station that will redefine the entire idea that one has about railway stations in India.
Slated for launch by railway minister Suresh Prabhu on June 9th, the station, built in 1979 will be the country’s first to be revamped under the public-private partnership (PPP) model and the mammoth task of handling the operational and maintenance responsibilities has been handed over to Bansal Group, a city based corporate group, for a period of eight years.
“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,” Sunil Bansal, group’s managing director, told Mint.
Apart from the station overhaul, the group has also received four commercial land parcels on a 45-year lease that will be housing the high-end transit hub, with a reported estimate of Rs 100 crore for revamping the station and around Rs 350 crore for developing the land parcels.
Indian Railway Station Development Corporation (IRSDC), a special purpose body formed by railway unit Ircon International Ltd (IRCON) and Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA), will be overseeing the Habibganj project.
“The management of the Habibganj railway station was given to the Bansal Group on March 1, 2017. They will be taking care of all the facilities at the station like food stalls, retiring rooms, power, platform maintenance and parking,” said S.K. Lohia, MD and CEO, IRSDC.
Envisioning a transit hub that falls in tune with global standards, the solar powered railway station will have a central patio catering for waiting passengers along with facilities for the differently-abled.