Taking another step forward to show its keenness to participate in India’s station redevelopment programme, a consortium of Malaysian developers has asked to extend the date to submit bids for seven railway stations. These stations are Indore, Udaipur, Bandra, Pune, Faridabad, Howrah and Secunderabad.
Earlier, one of the Malyasian companies submitted a bid against request for quotation for Surat railway station. The Construction Industry Development Board, a Malaysian agency which promotes, improves and expands the country’s construction industry, is leading the consortium.
In order to improve passenger experience and provide enhanced amenities, the Indian Railways plan to redevelop 400-plus stations across the country. Under the plan, the railways will lease out its land to private developers who will commercially exploit the land parcels and in turn redevelop stations. While the lease period will be for 45 years, developers will be required to maintain the stations for 15 years. Currently, 23 stations have put up for bidding, including the seven mentioned above.
According to a railway official who requested not to be named, the developers have asked the date to be extended till August 31, 2017, so that they can prepare bids.
As reported by FE earlier, the Malaysian developers had asked for a basket of around 20 stations — beyond the 23 on offer at present—to be awarded to them. In turn, the Indian Railways had asked it to participate in the current round and submit bids for four-six stations to which they had agreed. However, the railways cannot arbitrarily provide contracts for 20 stations and will have to undertake the tender process.
To overcome the situation, the railways may ask the Malaysian developers to submit detailed project reports for railway stations of their choice, and the carrier will then go for the Swiss Challenge method under which bidders will be asked to match the bids or quote better bids.
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The Indian Railways also plans to hold roadshows in overseas countries to showcase the financial viability of the project and attract foreign investors. As reported earlier by FE, besides Malaysia, the carrier has already received inquiries from developers based in Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Slovakia and Japan.