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DBFOT model mooted for rail stations

S. Anil Radhakrishnan
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Thiruvananthapuram Central, Ernakulam Junction, Kozhikode and Mangalore Central

The Design, Build, Finance, Operate, Transfer (DBFOT) model under the public-private partnership mode has been mooted for developing Thiruvananthapuram Central, Ernakulam Junction, Kozhikode and Mangalore Central into world class stations.

The Kerala Industrial and Technical Consultancy Organisation (KITCO), in its feasibility report , has recommended that the concessionaire should undertake complete re-development and construction of the station, including commercial zone and allied facilities.

The re-development cost of developing each world class railway station will be in the range of Rs.150 crore to Rs.250 crore. The commercial area will have to be developed by the concessionaire in the specified zone as per a land use plan. The mode suggested for financing the project includes equity - internal accruals, interest-free deposits from probable takers of commercial space - and debt - term loan from financial institutions.

Planned station layout and access, integration with the other modes of transport, better environment, passenger amenities and services of international standards, transformation into cultural, transportation and commercial hub, space planning, better access, central controlling and process automation are the key features to be incorporated.

Commuters can look forward for more pre-paid auto/taxi zones, skywalk, multi-level car parking, real time information system and sign boards, elevated departure lounges, escalators and lifts.

Official sources said the plan was to avoid land acquisition, protection of heritage structures and effective utilisation of available land on the railway premises.

In Thiruvananthapuram Central, the heritage building will be retained without any major modification. Commercial development at both entries and new flyover at second entry has been mooted. The commercial space identified is 1,41,870 sq.ft and the total project cost is estimated at Rs.222.57 crore.

In Ernakulam Junction, the demolition of existing buildings at the main entry has been suggested. Commercial development at main entrance, multi-level car parking at the second entry and commercial space development of 2,79,000 sq.ft have been identified. The total project cost is Rs. 430 crore.

A new peripheral road at main entry, development of central platform as transit lounge, mono rail connectivity, and development of road on the second entry have been envisaged for the Kozhikode railway station. Commercial area space of 3,91,255 sq.ft has been identified and the project will cost Rs. 333.39 crore.

In the case of Mangalore Central, which comes under Palakkad division, the development of the station will cost Rs.215 crore. Development of the station building at terminal end, commercial complex and departure lounge and connectivity from RoB at the northern end have been mooted.

A railway official said the report of KITCO was only a perspective plan and more clarity was yet to emerge on the mode of implementation of the project.

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