Why is it a news-

  • India’s Railway Land Development Authority (RLDA) has sought bids from private entities to redevelop the New Delhi railway station.
  • The New Delhi railway station is set for big renovation. As Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways is looking to transform the New Delhi railway station into a world-class multi-modal transport hub in the coming years.
  • The railway stations across India will be redeveloped on a PPP model as a part of Smart City Projects launched by the Government of India.

Indian Railways-

  • The Indian Railways (IR) is a governmental entity under the Ministry of Railways which operates India’s national railway system. It is run by the government as a public good and passenger transporter.
  • The Indian Railways holds the place of the fourth largest railway network in the world by size, with a route length of 68,155 km (42,350 mi) as of March 2019. From the total around 40,576 km (25,213 mi) or 64% of all the broad-gauge routes are electrified with 25 kV 50 Hz AC electric traction as of August 2020.
  • IR’s Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) undertakes the research, design and standardization projects of IR. The railway has undertaken several initiatives to upgrade its ageing infrastructure and improve its quality of service. The Indian government has reported planned to invest ₹05 trillion (US$130 billion) to upgrade IR by 2020.

Privatisation of trains in IR-

  • On July 1, 2020, the Railway Ministry announced that 151 trains in 109 pairs of routes will be operated by private sectors. The private sector will report invest a total of Rs 30,000 crores towards the advancements of the IR.
  • The Ministry of Railways identified 109 origin-destination routes via 151 trains asked private companies to submit their interest, towards the auction for the private trains.
  • This will incorporate modern trains with technological advancements like less maintenance, reduce travel time and create employment. A total of 151 trains will be operated by the by private entities, where each train shall have minimum 16 coaches.

Rail Land Development Authority (RDLA)-

  • The Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) is a statutory Authority, under the Ministry of Railways, set-up by an Amendment to the Railways Act, 1989.
  • It is responsible for the development of vacant Railway Land for commercial use for the purpose of generating revenue by non-tariff measures and creating assets for Indian Railways.
  • According to the reports, Indian Railways has approximately 43,000 hectares of vacant land. The Land which is not required for operational purposes in the foreseeable future will be identified by the zonal railways and the details will be advised to the Railway Board. Such plots of land would then be handed over to the RLDA by the Railway Board in phases for commercial development.

Redevelopment of the New Delhi Railway Station-

  • The plan seeks to redevelop a 500,000m² area at the station and an additional 260,000m² of surrounding area for commercial development, as reported by the authorities.
  • The overall project will cost around Rs65bn ($887m) and is expected to complete in four years.
  • According to the publication, the following are the details of the design of the forthcoming project-
  • It will include upgrading station infrastructure, refurbishment of platforms, associated structures, railway offices and quarters among others.
  • An elevated access road network with multi-level car parking and an elevated concourse with a separation for arriving and departing passengers will also be built at the site.
  • The commercial component of the project will involve building retail, office, and hospitality developments on a 30-acre area.

Conclusion-

  • The announcement for the above project could be seen to be effective in the following ways-
  • New Delhi being the national capital and a nerve centre of political, economic and social activities. As a result of this renovation, the New Delhi Railway Station will be transformed into a world-class, one-stop destination for retail, commercial and hospitality business.

The development will boost the tourism potential and accentuate real estate, as well as investment prospects in New Delhi and surrounding regions.

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