At least 32 companies have shown interest in redevelopment of four railway stations — Nagpur, Gwalior, Amritsar and Sabarmati — on a public-private partnership (PPP) model.
Among the major players that are keen include GMR, Kalpataru, ISQ Capital, FairFax, JKB, Monte Carlo, GR Infrastructure, Kalyan Toll and Cube Constructions.
“A total 32 applications have been received against the above four projects with a maximum of nine applications for Sabarmati (Ahmedabad). The applicants include two ‘Funds’ (ISQ Capital and FairFax ) apart from reputed developers,” said S K Lohia, managing director, Indian Railway Station Development Corporation (IRSDC).
The total Indicative cost for redeveloping the four stations is about Rs 1,300 crore. The request for quotation for the redevelopment of these stations took place on Friday. IRSDC, the nodal agency for station redevelopment in India, had invited bids for the redevelopment of these stations in December. The total built-up area allowed for commercial development is 54 lakh square feet.
“One advantage for participants will be that no land-use change and prior environmental clearance are required for these projects as these are railway projects under Railway Act 1989,” said Lohia. IRSDC is a joint venture company of RLDA and IRCON with 50:50 ownership.
The above projects hold the distinction of being the first railway projects to have in-principle approval of the public, private, partnership appraisal committee (PPPAC) as per the guidelines for PPP projects by the Centre. They are also the first ones to have a provision of pre-determined user charges on passengers and visitors as one of the main revenue streams for the concessionaire of the redeveloped stations. IRSDC said after shortlisting the applicants, request for proposal will be called, in which bids will be submitted by the bidders.
Earlier, IRSDC was in talks with the Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC) and the World Bank to fund the ambitious Rs 1-trillion station redevelopment programme for 400 stations. Last year, IRSDC also came out with a list of stations, inviting private equity players and pension funds for partnerships to fund redevelopment of at least 10 high-potential stations.
According to railways sources, major players, including Macquarie, CDPQ Private Equity, National Investment and Infrastructure Fund and sovereign funds were keen to be a part of this.