New Delhi: The Indian Railways station redevelopment arm has received a shot in the arm with Malaysia’s state-owned CIDB (Construction Industry Development Board) showing interest to redevelop at least 20 railway stations across the country. A railway ministry official said,“We have been working with Malaysia and have done some roadshows. They have expressed interest in our programme.”
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- CIDB was established by Malaysia to promote, improve & expand the country’s construction industry, among other functions.
- The railways plans to redevelop 400-plus major stations across the country to provide world-class passenger amenities.
- This will be done by leasing out rail land to private developers for 45 years who will commercialise the land parcels and in turn redevelop stations & maintain them for 15 years.
- However, the railways can only lease stations through open tendering & as per current approvals, only individual stations can be put up for auction and there is no provision for bulk tendering.
- The official said,“It is up to us to find a suitable model for them.”
- The carrier will have to think about a way to provide CIDB contracts through a transparent method, the official added.
- According to the official, as a final solution, the railways can approach the Cabinet for a government-to-government understanding but before that it will look for other ways which are at preliminary stage right now.
- The development comes close to the Railways reaching out to the foreign embassies in India, urging them to market the station redevelopment plan in their own countries.
- The railways has already received inquiries from Switzerland, UAE, Kuwait, Slovakia, Malaysia & Japan.
- The official said,“We will give them stations which are not unviable but not the top-notch ones. We expect that with their expertise, we at least get those assured returns as expected.”
- Interestingly, CIDB already has an MoU with India’s Ircon International to develop railway infrastructure in India.
- The official said,“However, we do not want to select them through IRCON and we will be transparent in whatever way we approach it.”
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