PUNE: The Pune Junction station is still awaiting a bidder for its redevelopment as part of a project announced by the in July last year.
Though five stations across the country have got bidders for their redevelopment, the work is going on at a slow pace. The authorities are expecting a turnaround this year with the Centre recently extending the lease period to private parties bidding for the project from 45 years to 99 years.
“The Centre has made the Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Limited (IRSDCL) the nodal agency to implement the project on a public-private-partnership basis. Habibganj (Bhopal), Capital (Gujarat), Anand Vihar and Bijwasan (Delhi) and Chandigarh have got bidders. The IRSDCL has not yet floated tenders for the redevelopment of the Pune station,” a Central Railway (Pune division) official said.
The redevelopment work has so far started in Habibganj and Gandhinagar Capital stations. As far as the Pune station is concerned, a private party has been given its responsibility for three years.
“A Pune-based company will look into various aspects of the station, except ticketing and train movements. We hope that the Centre’s decision to increase the lease period to the private parties will evoke a positive response,” the official said.
The plan includes allowing commercial establishments such as hotels, malls and multiplexes on land earmarked by the railways for the selected developer. The official said the developer would have the right of commercial exploitation of the land. “The Railways will be the landowner,” he said.
“The stakeholders had raised issues such as simplified bidding procedures and multiple sub-leasing with the authorities. Following this, the Centre had in October 2018 increased the lease period from 45 years to 99 years. We hope that the revision will help the project. In the first phase of the projects, 23 stations, including the one in Pune, had been taken up,” another official said.