Ten firms, including an Adani Group company, have bid for redeveloping the heritage Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) Railway station as part of an over Rs 1,640-crore project. The station, a UNESCO-certified World Heritage Site from where the first railway chugged out over 170-years ago, will be redeveloped in multiple phases over a four-year period, officials at the Indian Railways Station Development Corporation (IRSDC) said.
The Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation (IRSDC) on August 20 invited the Request For Qualification (RFQ) for the redevelopment of the station into a worldclass terminus through the public private partnership (PPP) model. The redevelopment of the structure will be done on DBFOT (design, build, finance, operate and transfer) basis. Over two dozen entities had initially evinced interest for the project, which was cleared by the Union government's Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPAC) in August last year, of which ten have successfully submitted their bids, the IRSDC said.
The Adani Group, which has bid through Adani Railways Transport Ltd, has been upping investments in the mobility space in the recent past and have successfully bid to potentially become the largest private sector airport operator. Others who have applied for the project which has a 60-year concession include GMR Enterprises, ISQ Asia Infrastructure Investments, Kalpataru Power Transmission, Anchorage Infrastructure Investments Holdings, Brookfield Infrastructure Fund, Moribus Holdings, Godrej Properties, Keystone Realtors and Oberoi Realty, as per an official statement.
"We will now scrutinise all the ten bids, shortlist those who comply with requirements and float the request for proposal in four months after finalising the detailed project report, IRSDC's chief executive and managing director S K Lohia told PTI. Lohia exuded confidence of awarding the project by December and added that it will be completed in four years in multiple phases.
The winning bidder will invest upfront in the construction of the project for which it may appoint sub-contractors, he said, adding that financial strength will be more preferred over technical ability while awarding the project. The IRSDC has already gone to the heritage panels with the project report and will be going to the committee again with the final plan before construction begins, he said, claiming that the project will both preserve and enhance the beauty of the building.
The bidder who is chosen for the project will have the rights for revenues from the station, called as the concession period, of 60 years, he said. Lohia explained that the winning bidder can get revenue from the realty side by renting out space, user charges which the passengers will be paying and also station revenue through aspects like kiosks, billboards etc.
He said in the past, concerns over yard remodelling had led to a shelving of the entire project itself, but a solution has been found to the same and the project has taken off. Under the project, the plan is to shift some railway offices from the premises to Byculla and Wadi Bunder yards, create more pedestrian area and have an access control system at the station, they said.
The 130-year-old majestic building, constructed in Victorian Gothic style, houses the Central Railways headquarters and also platforms of the suburban and long distance trains. Also, the Harbour line, which connects south Mumbai with western suburbs and Navi Mumbai, will be shifted to the P D'mello Road side on east of the main line station on an elevated level, they said.
According to IRSDC, the stations will have an access control system and the passengers will have to pay a user fees, which the railway board will decide in future. The station was designed in 1878 by British architect F W Stevens in Victorian style, well aided with traditional Indian themes.
Originally named as the Victoria Terminus, it was built at a cost of around Rs 16 lakh. The structure, which took nearly 10 years to be constructed, gave the 19th century Mumbai its gothic city look.