Mumbai's CSMT Railway Station Redevelopment Plan Back To Scratch
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus railway station was selected for redevelopment in 2020, but it has now been sent back to the drawing board following the shutdown of the IRSDC.
The redevelopment programme of Mumbai's iconic Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) railway station, which has been long overdue, will go through fresh tendering, according to a report in Business Standard.
The UNESCO World Heritage site was selected for redevelopment in 2020 but it has now been sent back to the drawing board following the shutdown of the Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation (IRSDC), which was spearheading the bidding process.
IRSDC, a joint venture between Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) and Indian Railway Construction Limited (IRCON), was the nodal agency for station redevelopment programme. It was abruptly shut down in October 2021, and all its projects were handed to RLDA and zonal railways.
Nine Bidders In Fray
Located at the heart of Mumbai, the CSMT station was constructed over a 10-year period beginning 1878. It was known as Victoria Terminus (VT) railway station back in the day. In 2004, the old building of the CST station was listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO. The station also houses Central Railway headquarters.
One of the busiest stations in the country, CSMT had an average daily footfall of 4.5 lakh commuters before COVID-19 Pandemic. Being one of the oldest and busiest stations in the country with increasing footfall, redevelopment of the station became necessary.
The redevelopment plan envisages creation of two new station nodes - one for suburban and the other for long-distance passengers.
IRSDC had invited requests for qualification for the project under the under the public-private partnership (PPP) basis on DBFOT (Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer) basis on 20 August 2020. Adani Railways, Oberoi Realty, and GMR Highways were among the nine bidders selected for the marquee station project in June 2021.
A year later, there is little headway in the flagship development project, where IRSDC was about to float a Request for Proposal (RFP) to the qualified bidders and finalise the awardee.
"The project is currently in the techno-economic feasibility report stage, since all projects under IRSDC were sent back to the drawing board. Once detailed project reports are made after that, they will be internally approved and presented to a heritage committee, after which a fresh request for qualification (RFQ) will be raised,” a senior Railways Ministry official said.
Once all these processes are complete, the redevelopment project will reach the stage where it had been left off last year, the official indicated.
According to Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, the station will be developed under the hybrid built-operate-transfer (BOT) mode. The hybrid BOT model envisages 40 per cent payment during the construction while 60 per cent would be paid to the builder by the Railways in instalments over the concession period as assured return.
The Railways need to quickly undertake the redevelopment work of Tier-1 stations such as CSMT as the revenues from the redevelopment would form a sizeable portion of its asset monetisation pipeline for the fiscal year and help improve the dwindling finances of railways.
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