Project to develop Yeshwantpur, Cantonment stations dropped

Project to develop Yeshwantpur, Cantonment stations dropped

Project to develop Yeshwantpur, Cantonment stations dropped

The railways' ambitious plan to develop Cantonment and Yeshwantpur stations on a world-class model has been dropped with tenders for the two projects being cancelled after several postponements of the bidding dates.

To give a facelift to stations across the country through public-private-partnership, the ministry of railways then headed by Suresh Prabhu announced the 'Station Redevelopment Plan' in February 2017.

Accordingly, tenders were called to develop Yeshwantpur and Cantonment stations with the last date for bidding set for June 1, 2017.

However, the project got a lukewarm response from private players.

"We had offered 20 acres of land at Yeshwantpur and nearly four acres at Cantonment on a 45-year lease in return for developing the station. But potential developers were not satisfied with the lease period and were wary of maintaining the station for 15 years under revenue-sharing model," a senior railway official said.

When contacted, South Western Railway (SWR) Chief Public Relations Officer E Vijaya confirmed that the tenders floated by the SWR have been cancelled as the redevelopment works have been entrusted to Indian Railway Station Development Corporation Limited (IRSDC).

"The tenders were postponed to encourage better participation, to give bidders time to study the documents and come up with world-class designs," she said.

Another official said that the tenders were cancelled as officials at the ministry as well as the railway board wanted to make changes in the criteria to make the project attractive after Piyush Goel took over the ministry. The IRSDC has announced a design competition for Gwalior, Nagpur and Baiyappanahalli stations, with a vision to "encourage private-partnership for the redevelopment of stations".

However, there is no mention of the Cantonment and Yeshwantpur stations in the list.

"The competition for three ended on January 3. Cantonment and Yeshwantpur may be added to the list later. We are expecting an announcement soon. There is a plan to increase the lease period of vacant land from 45 to 99 years to make the project commercially appealing," another official said.