In one of its largest Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects, the Central government has decided to privatize 23 railway stations of the Indian Railways. The list of stations include Lokmanya Tilak (T) Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Vishakhapatnam, Howrah, Bangalore Cantonment, Jammu Tawi, Faridabad and two stations of Uttar Pradesh.
The two stations of Uttar Pradesh that are being auctioned are Kanpur Central and Allahabad Junction. As per the details announced, the online auction will be conducted on June 28. Interested companies and individuals can submit their bid on the railways website.
Patrika reports that Kanpur Central has been priced at Rs. 200 crore and Allahabad Junction at Rs. 150 crore.
After the stations are handed over to private hands, the Railways will only take responsibility for train operations, ticket sales, parcels and security arrangements. However, in addition to the security system of Railways, private security guards will also be deployed at different areas of the stations.
The arrangement will be leased to the respective private company for a period of 45 years. During these 45 years, the companies will have to furnish the railway stations with world-class facilities and develop food stalls, retiring rooms, play areas, etc. The companies will also be responsible for bringing up shopping malls, five-star hotels and multiplexes on the stations.
It has also been clarified in the auction details that the private companies, under no circumstances, shall tamper with the architectural heritage of the stations. This means that the structure of Kanpur Central and Allahabad Junction railways stations will remain intact.
There is, however, no approval on revenue sharing proportion between private companies and Railways with regards to this privatization initiative.
Earlier this month, we reported that Habib Ganj railway station of Bhopal will be the first private railway station of the country, the contract of which has already been assigned to Bansal Group of Bhopal.