Residential complexes will now be allowed around railway stations as part of the Railways’ ambitious station redevelopment programme, a top official of IRSDC, the nodal agency for the project, said today. Sanjeev Kumar Lohia, Managing Director and Chief Executive officer of Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Limited (IRSDC), said that the Railway Board has allowed residential development along with commercial development as part of the redevelopment scheme of railway stations to make such projects further viable commercially.
“The railway board has allowed residential development. A significant aspect of the transit oriented policy is that overall travel impact assessment should be less. If the residential and the commercial exist in one place then people who work there, can stay there – for them it will be walk to work,” he said. Lohia said that the principle of the policy of having such residential buildings on railway land with a railway station in close proximity will also be to ensure that all the travel requirements of the people staying there are met.
“This (the residential complex) is not for penthouses, but for smaller dwellings for people who are dependent on public transport rather than those who want to have personalised vehicles. That is the principle of transit oriented development that you build densities around transit,”said Lohia, adding that all the 600 stations chosen for redevelopment will have the residential component. IRSDC is a Railways’ joint venture company.
Under the station redevelopment scheme, railways will give the stations to be redeveloped on a 99-year lease to the highest bidder for completion, development and subsequent operation. Earlier, the lease tenure was 45 years. Lohia said that the investment plan for the redevelopment and commercial development together is estimated to be Rs 1.07 lakh crore.
While the transit oriented policy is being pushed across the country, many experts have opposed the move by saying that the idea of high density population around transit corridors was flawed as it would make the already congested station areas more congested.