The railways' plan to modernise five stations via the public-private partnership (PPP) model has come unstuck for want of investor interest. According to sources, even as the deadlines for awarding contracts for the five projects set by the railway board nears, the national transporter is yet to begin the bidding process.
In Budget 2013-14, the railways had set a target of Rs 1,000 crore as private sector investment for the development of five railway stations-Chandigarh, Habibganj, Shivaji Nagar, Bijwasan, Shivaji Nagar and Anand Vihar-phase II. Later, the board decided that by March end all these projects would be awarded.
The railways, struggling to modernize its stations due to dearth of funds, has to rely on the PPP model for making at least few stations world-class. The selected stations, as per the blueprint, were supposed to have all amenities available at stations across the world.
In September, the railways held several pre-bidding meetings with potential investors but the plan failed to take off due to lukewarm response.
According to the railways, the master plans of Chandigarh and Pune's Shivaji Nagar stations have already been prepared by a consultant and are with the zonal railways for approval.
The master plans of other stations are being prepared by foreign consultants and will be submitted to the railways soon. The redevelopment project has been undertaken by the newly formed Railway Station Development Corporation.
“We have got the approvals from local civic bodies for providing basic amenities and making traffic plans for the peripheral areas of stations. The overall economic situation and slowdown in the infrastructure sector has had its toll on the station redevelopment plan,” a railway board official said.