Under the PPP model approved by the Union cabinet, first bidder to be given chance to match the best bid
With public-private partnership (PPP) model yet to really take off in the railways, the Centre on Thursday announced the redevelopment of 400 stations across the country through a new PPP route called ‘Swiss Challenge’, a bidding model under which the first bidder is given a chance to match the best bid.
Under this model, it would be left to the bidder to suggest the entire development model, including the pattern of raising revenue and how it is shared with the railways.
The bidders will have to deposit earnest money while applying for the bid which will be refundable, if a player manages to win the bid than the onus of getting all the statutory approvals will lie on him.
The redevelopment would be in the category of ‘A-1’ and ‘A’ class (top two categories) of railway stations, which are mostly located in metros, major cities, pilgrimage centres and important tourist destinations across the country. These stations would be developed by leveraging real estate development of land and air space in and around the stations.
“The Cabinet today gave its approval for the redevelopment of railway stations on an ‘as is where is’ basis, through open invitation from interested parties with their designs and business ideas including permitting commercial development of real estate by the zonal railways,” the government said in a statement.
Currently, despite most sectors being open to PPP ventures and FDI, private-sector participation projects in the railway sector is largely limited to last-mile connectivity projects developed with the support of stakeholder industries like users of freight infrastructure.
R8,548-cr transmission projects cleared
The CCEA on Thursday approved intra-state transmission network projects worth R8,548 crore. The projects would benefit Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.
The government said that the projects will be funded by the Centre with 40% of the contribution from National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF) amounting to R3,419 crore. Another 40% will come through the German government-owned bank KfW loan. The respective states are expected to invest the balance amounts.
The project includes setting up of 48 new grid sub-stations of different voltage levels with 7, 800 ckt-km (circuit kilometres) of transmission lines in these seven states. The project is proposed to be completed within a period of three to five years, the government said.
R7,558-cr expressway to decongest Delhi
A six-lane, 135 km peripheral road around Delhi, aimed at reducing traffic congestion and pollution in the national capital region due to heavy vehicles, would be developed through the engineering, procurement and construction mode at a total cost of R7,558 crore. The CCEA gave its approval to the Eastern Peripheral Expressway.