Home / News / India /  NIIF shows interest in revamping CST railway station

NEW DELHI : State-owned Indian Railway Stations Development Corp. Ltd (IRSDC) on Monday said that government of India backed National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF) has evinced interest to redevelop and transform Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus railway station.

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of IRSDC SK Lohia said that a high-level committee comprising officials from NITI Aayog, finance ministry, law and railway ministry gave in-principle approval earlier this month for the redevelopment of Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus railway station on a public private partnership (PPP) mode. The tender was floated on 20 August.

The redevelopment cost of the station — mandatory cost — including the cost of financing and contingency cost is 1,642 crore. The investment opportunity for redevelopment is on DBFOT (Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer) basis.

Lohia said that now Alternate Investment Funds (AIFs) are also eligible to participate in the process of Request for Qualification (RFQ)—process of pre-qualification and shortlisting of bidders. “Even the funds can also participate. So it is not only firms which can participate…We are also in talks with NIIF. They might also participate. Essentially this is an investment project, and not just a construction project. What we are looking for is investors," Lohia said in a virtual briefing.

“We need a good construction agency who would ultimately construct the project. And that is around four years’ time when the construction would be over," he said.

Indian railways’ ambitious station redevelopment plan is one of its attempts to attract private investment in the sector. Apart from transforming stations, railways also plans to attract private sector investment by offering such companies to run passenger trains. “A redeveloped station building has to function like a city centre rail mall where in addition to a passenger’s transportation needs, his daily needs are also fulfilled, like--retail, food and beverage, entertainment, souvenir shopping. The aim is that most of his daily needs are catered to by visiting the railway station thus avoiding unnecessary travel within the city." Lohia said.

Lohia further said that since station redevelopment projects are a huge investment opportunity the PPPAC (Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee) has deleted technical eligibility criteria at the stage of qualification, which is limited to financial eligibility criteria.

“So, all those investors who have minimum net worth of 821 crore at the close of preceding financial year and all fund houses who have minimum ACI (available capital for investment) of 821 crore at the close of the preceding financial year (for AIF or Foreign Investment Fund) can apply for this prestigious and iconic project which is extremely important considering the redevelopment of Railways in the country," Lohia said.

A pre-determined airport like user fee will imposed on train passengers. A pre-determined user charge on passengers will be one of the key revenue streams for the concessionaire of the redeveloped stations.

The user charge will be inflation-linked and will be notified by ministry of railways.

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