Construction work on complexes to provide rail users with facilities like shopping and food courts at 66 railway stations will begin in a month, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday.
“The business plans for setting up Multi-Functional Complexes (MFC) are ready and work on these will begin within a month,” she said during Question Hour.
Ms. Banerjee said the MFC would provide rail users with facilities like shopping, food stalls and restaurants, book stalls, telephone booths, medicine and variety stores, budget hotels and underground parking.
Each MFC will be built at a cost of up to Rs eight crore, she said adding the work has been entrusted to IRCON and Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA).
IRCON and RLDA have already taken up the work in a phased manner and drawn up action plan for development of business models, architectural and structural designs suiting local architecture and local ethos, Ms. Banerjee said.
In reply to another question, the minister said the Vigilance Department of the Railways had detected revenue leakage of Rs 65.03 crore between January and September this year.
“The officials found responsible have been suitably punished,” said.
Replying to another query, Ms. Banerjee said with the prime objective of addressing the problem of corrosion, Railways have decided to gradually switch over to manufacture stainless steel coaches.
“These coaches have about 10 -15 per cent higher passenger carrying capacity than the conventional coaches primarily owing to longer length,” she said.
Open/covered wagons built with stainless steel and having lesser tare weight have also been inducted which has helped in increasing the carrying capacity per rake by 21.7 per cent in case of open wagons and 64.5 per cent in case of covered wagons, she said.
Ms. Banerjee said during the 11th Five Year Plan the Railways plan to add 2,000 km of lines, undertake gauge conversion in 10,000 km and 6,000 km of line doubling.
In the first two years of the plan period, 513 km of new lines, 2,112 km of gauge conversion and 789 km of line doubling have been completed, she said.
For 2009 -10, a target of 250 km of new lines, 1,300 km of gauge conversion and 700 km of doubling has been fixed, she added.