The passengers of Western Railway in near future, can hop into a posh restaurant, relax in a special lounge room, take pleasure in recreational activities or enjoy shopping with their favourite brands at 28 nominated railway stations, if the decision of the Union Cabinet will be implemented soon. For this purpose, six A – 1 category stations and 22 A category stations of W.Rly has been identified. The A – 1 category stations consists of Mumbai Central (Main), Bandra Terminus, Surat, Vadodara, Ahmedabad and Rajkot, whereas, A category stations comprises of Anand, Ankleshwar, Bharuch, Bhavnagar Terminus, Chittorgarh Jn., Gandhidham, Indore, Jamnagar, Mahesana, Nadiad, Nagda, Navsari, New Bhuj, Palanpur, Ratlam, Surendranagar, Udhana, Ujjain, Valsad, Vapi, Veraval and Viramgam.
In the Union Cabinet Meeting held recently, chaired by Hon'ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, Cabinet has provided its approval for redevelopment of more than 400 railway stations on 'as is where is' basis, through open invitation from interested parties with their designs and business ideas including permitting commercial development of real estate by the Zonal Railways. ‘A-1’ and ‘A’ category stations (about 400) shall be offered for redevelopment by inviting open bids from interested parties. These stations are to be developed by leveraging real estate development of land and air space in and around the stations.
This approval will enable the Ministry of Railways to accelerate the redevelopment of ‘A-1’ and ‘A’ category stations. These category of stations are generally located in metros, major cities, pilgrimage centres and important tourist destinations across the country. It will also encourage innovative ideas from interested parties at no cost to the Railways. Redevelopment of identified stations is undertaken through the Indian Stations Development Corporation Ltd. (IRSDC). As the IRSDC is able to undertake redevelopment of only a few stations, and there is a need to redevelop a large number of stations, it has been proposed to redevelop stations through invitation of open bids from interested parties.