Iconic station to have state-of-the-art toilets, disable-friendly access, escalators, cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops and facilities similar to the ones at airports
The iconic Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) is set for a grand world-class makeover. The Indian Railway Station Development Corporation (IRSDC) plans to upgrade the station into a sleek modern terminus with all the new bells and whistles on a PPP model, keeping its heritage value intact. The private developers will have a hold on the iconic CSMT for the next 60 years. Officials said the Railway Board has given a green signal for redevelopment of CSMT. The main office of CR currently housed there will be shifted to Byculla.
Other than the infrastructural and logistical changes, CSMT will be completely revamped with not just state of the art toilets but now private shops like cafes and restaurants will be seen in one of the costliest commercial properties in the world. In fact it is estimated that it will generate a revenue of almost Rs 10,000 crore with a comparatively small area of 2.5 lakh sq metres that houses the heritage structure.
Last November, IRSDC and CR had finalised the master plan to redevelop CSMT into a world-class station, while restoring its heritage charm. The revamp plan was approved by the principal approval of Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPPAC) for the CSMT redevelopment on PPP mode, following which IRSDC invited Request for Qualification (RFQ).
SK Lohia, ISRDC managing director and CEO said that once the bidding is done and tender is awarded to respective developers, the CSMT will be given to the developers for next 60 years to have the source to generate revenue.
“A redeveloped station building has to function like a city centre rail mall where in addition to a passenger’s transportation needs, daily needs are also fulfilled, like- Retail, F&B, Entertainment, souvenir shopping,” he explained.
“The developer will have control on platform tickets, passengers using the space or coming to the CSMT station will have to pay user fee. Meanwhile the exact amount of user fee is yet to finalised,” Lohia added.
According to IRSDC, the project cost is Rs 1,642 crore, including the construction cost of Rs 1,231 crore and financing cost of Rs 328 crore. The redevelopment of the structure will be done on a DBFOT (design, build, finance, operate and transfer) basis. The bidding process will be done in two stages- RFQ and Request for Proposal (RFP).
As per the tender document: “The Applicants fulfilling the Eligibility Criteria shall be shortlisted for participating in further stage. The entire bidding procedure is a two-stage bidding process consisting of RFQ and Request for Proposal (RFP). The selected bidder at the RFP stage shall take up the redevelopment of the Railway station and commercial development of the surrounding railway land on leasehold basis up to 60 years for commercial development and 99 years for residential development on selected plots, along with operation and maintenance of the station for 60 years on concession basis.”
The user charge will also be another continuous source of revenue to the concessioner which will be available just after the Commercial Operation Date (COD) of the station. As per the information, the CSMT is the only heritage station which falls under UNESCO, so the height restrictions will be there and buildings can not be above 32 metre.