Kerala

Varkala station to be world class

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IRSDC to deveop the railway station, which was selected from short listed stations

Varkala Sivagiri railway station is likely to be State’s first world class station to be redeveloped by Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation (IRSDC) with the government according top priority to it from the short-listed railway stations.

Sanjeev Kumar Lohia, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of IRSDC, the joint venture of Rail Land Development Authority and IRCON, will visit the station and its premises on Saturday to see the ground realities to work out details and take the project forward as requested by the State government.

Kozhikode, Ernakulam

The request to the IRSDC to accord top priority to Varkala Sivagiri railway station comes at a time when Kozhikode and Ernakulam stations are waiting in the wings for redevelopment.

“We will make it happen. The request has come from the State and we need the State’s support,” Mr. Lohia told The Hindu after attending a high-level meeting on redevelopment of the railway stations in the Secretariat here on Friday.

V. Joy, MLA; Secretaries of Revenue, PWD, and Planning; Additional Divisional Railway Manager P. Jayakumar; MD of Vision Varkala Infrastructure Development Corporation (VVID) V. Ramachandran Potty; and officials attended.

The IRSDC MD and CEO said he had handed over Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to the State to go forward in the task and to act as an umbrella for station redevelopment and to make things easy at the ground level.

“Kerala will be the first State to sign the MOU worked out by us if it is signed in the first week of January after getting the approval of Cabinet.”

Mr. Lohia said the MoU was worked out after the Union Cabinet approved the IRSDC as nodal agency and main project development agency, and simplified procedures to adapt various business models and for longer lease tenure of up to 99 years.

Commercially developed

“We have been made planning and development authority for the railway land to be commercially developed. Town and Country Planning Act does not apply to Railways and the government is not going to invest. We are not going to sell the land, but going for mixed development of land parcel around railway station.”

The VVID created by the government for the comprehensive infrastructure and tourism development of Varkala is to have a greater say in the redevelopment of railway station.

Smart stations

“Redevelopment will lead to creation of state-of-the-art smart stations that will function as mini smart cities and will have a multiplier effect in the economy with increased job creation and improved economic growth,” the IRSDC MD and CEO said.

The ₹600-crore Master plan prepared by RITES for station development and the four acres of barren land adjacent to the station is available for commercial development.

Mr. Lohia, accompanied by the railway officials, also visited Thiruvananthapuram Central, Nemon railway station, and Kochuveli terminal so as to explore the possibility of redevelopment of those stations.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 12:22:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/varkala-station-to-be-world-class/article25854179.ece

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