Kozhikode

Kozhikode railway station development project in limbo

Awaiting facelift: The Kozhikode railway station is among the 23 stations identified for development across the country. The proposal is to develop the station with world-class facilities at an estimated cost of ₹75 crore.

Awaiting facelift: The Kozhikode railway station is among the 23 stations identified for development across the country. The proposal is to develop the station with world-class facilities at an estimated cost of ₹75 crore.   | Photo Credit: S_RAMESHKURUP

New government at the Centre has to take decision

The model code of conduct imposed during the Lok Sabha election is taking a toll on the redevelopment of the Kozhikode railway station under the Swiss Challenge Method.

Hitherto the Southern Railway has kept in abeyance the proposal of Vadakara-based Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society (ULCCS) to prepare a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for redeveloping the railway station.

Incidentally, the ULCCS was the lone bidder of the project in the first phase of the Swiss Challenge Method in July 2018. Subsequently, its technical bid was also approved in September. However, an approval of the Finance Committee of the Railways is required for taking the project to second and final stage of the Swiss Challenge Method.

The Kozhikode railway station is among the 23 stations identified for the first phase of redevelopment across the country. The proposal is to develop the station with world-class facilities at an estimated cost of ₹75 crore. At least four sites, measuring 4.40 acres, identified for the project will be leased to the successful bidder for 45 years.

If not for the Lok Sabha polls, the project would have taken off beginning this financial year. However, only after the submission of the DPR, the project will go into the second stage of bidding. The first bidder will also get the Right of First Refusal under specific terms and conditions, officials said.

However, the project also hinges on the policies of the new government at the Centre. Certainly, if the BJP government returns to power, the project would not have to face any difficulties. So also, the case with the Congress-led government as the Kozhikode MP, M.K. Raghavan, has been espousing the cause of the development of the Kozhikode railway station.

Unions oppose it

At the same time the CPI(M)-affiliated railway unions are against the private-partnership model development of the station. Even the INTUC, an affiliate of the Congress party, is against handing over the railway property to private stakeholders for building commercial-cum-recreational points. The Dakshin Railway Employees Union (DREU) had also campaigned against the project in Kozhikode and elsewhere.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 3:29:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/kozhikode-railway-station-development-project-in-limbo/article27157066.ece

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