The station will become the third one in India to get an international-standard renovation, the first two stations being Habibganj and Gandhinagar.
Indian Railways’ Surat railway station, which is soon going to be turned into a multi-modal transport hub (MMTH), integrating all modes of transport, is all set to transform the face of the city. The most interesting thing is, for this project, all the three levels of administration – Central (Indian Railways), state (Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation) and local authorities (Surat Municipal Corporation), have come together to pool their lands and also form an SPV named SITCO. The initiative is being headed by Indian Railways Station Development Corporation (IRSDC), which has been asked to implement the task of redevelopment of the railway station projects.
Surat station is being converted into a multi-modal transport hub and will include a bus terminal, wide station lobby, a swanky railway station, big ticketing hall, retail and offices space in the commercial towers, a modular passenger friendly concourse, seamless boarding facilities as well as connecting bridges among a host of other facilities. Additionally, the MMTH will be connected with the BRTS, Surat metro and suburban network. The station will become the third one in India to get an international-standard renovation, the first two stations being Habibganj and Gandhinagar.
On 17 April 2018, for the appointment of developer, Request for Qualification cum Request for Proposal along with Commercial Development on DBFOT-PPP (public-private partnership) mode was invited so that new developers can also participate along with the developers who are already qualified. Moreover, many steps have been taken by IRSDC to make this project more attractive and risk-free to developers. The steps incorporated in the bidding document are as under:
Increasing project viability:
- The proposed Commercial Development Built-up Area (BUA) has been increased from 5.07 lakh sq.m. to 8.40 lakh sq.m.
- For satisfying the parking/fire requirements as per local bylaws, the definition of BUA has been modified to exclude basements or any upper floors.
- The estimated cost of mandatory project has been reduced from Rs 1,008 crore to Rs 895 crore.
Considering the local demand at Surat, the commercial area at ground level increased from 3,54,864 sq.m. to 7,84,596 sq.m.
- The commercial area on the West side has been increased by shifting the proposed railway quarters to Udhna.
- The developer has been given the flexibility to modify the commercial development plan. However, this shall be done without disturbing the area requirements and intent of the mandatory project. Also, to provide more commercial area on ground, the master plan has been revised.
- The Union Cabinet has declared IRSDC as the nodal agency for the redevelopment of the station. Also, IRSDC has been given full powers for plan approvals over railway land.
- The MoU between Indian Railways, Surat Municipal Corporation and Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation was signed on 17 August 2016.
Regulatory Issues Resolved:
- A notification was issued by the Gujarat government regarding relaxation in Comprehensive General Development Control Regulations – 2017, considering the MMTH as a special project.
- The FSI of 4 is available as per Transit Oriented Zone without any charges.
- The master plan has been approved by the stakeholders. Also, land entrustment from stakeholders for the project is in place.
- The approval from the Airport Authority of India (AAI) has been obtained. Also, as per NOC, the maximum permissible height has been relaxed up to 121 mt, above mean sea level.
- Currently, the environmental clearance is under process.
Other Important Relaxations:
- Only 40 percent of the project is to be completed in 8 years, while the remaining 60 percent is likely to be completed in 15 years from the effective date.
- The performance guarantee for the project has been reduced to 40 percent from 100 percent of Commercial Development Cost.
- To reduce the upfront expenditure of the developer, milestones of project development fee installments payable by the developer has been realigned.
- The interest rate, payable by the developer on balance lease premium has been reduced from 15 percent to 12 percent per annum.
- The station revenue share payable to SITCO by the developer has been reduced to 35 percent from 50 percent.
- The maximum tenure of Sub-License at a time has been increased to 9 years from 3 years.
- Meanwhile, based on the request of bidders, now the bid opening date has been extended to 7 December 2018.