Step out of office, step into a train

Jul 20, 2013, 00:49 IST | Shashank Rao

Many Mumbaikars will have that luxury in coming days, as the railways are gearing up to develop commercial office spaces, restaurants and banks on their plots adjoining a few stations like Bhandup, Mulund and Nahur

Scarcity of land is no less a bane than scarcity of water in this city. With the same old buildings being repaired and redeveloped year after year, entrepreneurs and organisations have little room to spread their wings.

Hop, step and jump: As per the plans, Indian Railways have identified three stations, Bhandup, Mulund and Nahur, where skyscrapers are likely to be erected in the near future for office spaces. File pic

But, with a glimmer of hope in sight, things may get back on track. For the first time, railways will be developing commercial spaces -- including offices, banks and restaurants -- on the plots they own next to certain stations.

As per the plans, Indian Railways have identified three stations, Bhandup, Mulund and Nahur, where skyscrapers are likely to be erected in the near future. This news comes at a time when the proposed CST-Kalyan elevated corridor lies in doldrums.

“We are looking at commercial development of land and air space at these three stations. Offices and other mercantile establishments would be accommodated,” said Subodh Jain, member (engineering), Railway Board.

Officials said that the height of these buildings and releasing of floor space index (FSI) would depend on the development control rights (DCR) rules of the municipal corporations for respective areas. Based on this, and after completion of other formalities, private developers will get permission to build such multi-storey buildings.

On July 15, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in Delhi between Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) and Railway Land Development Authority (RLDA). Development of land space in railway premises is the mandate of RLDA and so after this pact, MRVC will be carrying out the expansion on their behalf. Presently, railway godowns and open spaces overrun with grass and weeds occupy these plots. “The private developer can build anything, right from shopping malls, commercial complexes to offices on these lands,” said Rakesh Saxena, chairman and managing director, MRVC.

When Dinesh Trivedi was the union railway minister, he had announced makeover of two stations – Khar and Dadar. As per plans then, gardens, walking spaces and offices were to come up.

In the pipeline
MRVC will also be developing other stations like Dadar, Kurla, Thane, Kalyan, Andheri, Borivli and Virar. According to railway authorities, these are vital facilities that cater to lakhs of people every day and need to be redefined.

“We want to create more walking spaces for people by making alterations to platforms, entry and exit points, with escalators and other amenities,” added Jain. 

Railways plan to call tenders for the revamp of Parel terminus, keeping in mind the steady augmentation in number of people coming here daily. 

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