The Railways has moved a Cabinet note proposing incentives be given to states which relax their construction norms for its ambitious Rs 1 lakh crore station redevelopment project, a senior official said today.
The Railways has moved a Cabinet note proposing incentives be given to states which relax their construction norms for its ambitious Rs 1 lakh crore station redevelopment project, a senior official said today. The proposal, sent to the Cabinet earlier this week, also suggested an increase in the lease period from the present 45 years to 99 years for such projects to facilitate private players and encourage them to invest in the schemes. “The states which give Railways extra FAR (floor area ratio) and FSI (Floor Space Index) would be given incentives in the form of sanctioning of additional projects in these states, shares in revenues or shares in any other income accrued out of such policy,” the official said.
To minimise problems with land acquisition, the Railways also suggested that transfer of land to the sector be on a freehold basis. The national transporter will also no longer seek the approval of local bodies for building purposes but merely take their consent, as is prescribed in Clause 1 1 of the Railway Act. “It has been proposed that all Central Government and Union Territory land should be transferred to the Railways on a freehold basis, with a minimum conversion charge as payment. The Railways will be free to use the land for both commercial and residential purposes. This will be provided without any change in land use patterns,” the official said, adding that this would help quicken the process of development.
The ministry has also proposed an increase in the lease period from 45 to not more than 99 years for station redevelopment projects to ensure the maximum commercial utilisation, he said. The redevelopment of 600 stations was mentioned by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech. In the first phase, the Indian Railway Station Development Corporation (IRSDC), which is the implementing agency, has already earmarked 90 such stations.
The redevelopment project is estimated to cost over Rs 1 lakh crore for 600 stations. The ministry has said that these changes proposed by them will ensure that additional revenues are generated from the projects and that the cost can be met from the revenues generated from the commercial development of extra railway land. The Cabinet is expected to take the matter up next week.