Government-owned infrastructure consultancy RITES Ltd will provide its services to the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) for projects to upgrade railway stations and allied facilities.
The IRCTC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with RITES which will undertake design and detailed engineering for the projects in addition to managing the bid process for selection of agencies that will carry out the construction work.
A mini-ratna enterprise of the Indian Railways, IRCTC has been expanding its mandate from providing high-quality catering, tourism and ticketing services, to improving basic infrastructure and amenities for the travelling public. Recently the Indian Railways decided to hand over the management and operation of its retiring rooms and dormitories to the IRCTC with a view to making better use of the existing infrastructure.
IRCTC is gearing up to take up these facilities in a phased manner, renovate and refurbish them and make them available to passengers. Under the new MoU, IRCTC will, on a project-to-project basis, entrust RITES with tasks including planning, field investigations, design, tendering, construction and supervision, inspection and commissioning, as required, for the railway station works and allied facilities.
RITES will carry out site surveys at the railway stations and prepare master plans, designs and drawings and budget estimates for the project. It will also prepare project specifications, tender schedule and documents for the bid process and help IRCTC in finalising the contractors.
Dr A K Manocha, Chairman and Managing Director of IRCTC, who signed the MoU with RITES CMD Rajeev Mehrotra, said they are in the process of accelerating the development works and ensure that all projects are completed on schedule. “Our goal is to ensure the highest quality services and amenities for rail passengers and in keeping with that commitment we intend to make sure that all infrastructure upgrades and hospitality offerings are world-class,” he said.
The railway retiring rooms, for instance, will be revamped with well-furnished air conditioned rooms, quality fittings, communication systems, other amenities and professional services. The upgraded services will also be integrated with local sightseeing and tours and travel services that the IRCTC has been successfully managing. IRCTC says it is ready to take all 408 A1 & A category stations’ Retiring Rooms subject to handover by the Railway.