The country will get its first two “airport-like” railway stations — Habibganj and Gandhinagar — in nine months from now as part of the railway’s Rs 1-lakh crore station redevelopment programme, a senior official said on Monday.
While Madhya Pradesh’s Habibganj station will be ready by December, Gujarat’s Gandhinagar station will be completed by January 2019, said S K Lohia, the Indian Railway Station Development Corporation (IRSDC) Managing Director and CEO.
He said the redeveloped Gandhinagar station will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The entire responsibility of maintenance and revenue generation from these stations lies with the IRSDC and we have to make sure that these stations are revenue surplus and to the extent that it can be invested back in the maintenance and development of the station,” Lohia said.
Once fully ready, the cost of maintenance of the Habibganj station will be in the range of Rs 4-5 crore, he said. The estimated revenue will be between Rs 6.5 to Rs 7 crore per annum with a planned increase to more than Rs 10 crore per annum, he said.
The entire Habibganj Station redevelopment project is likely to be a Rs 450-crore project, of which Rs 100 crore would be spent on station redevelopment and Rs 350 crore on commercial development.
The amenities at the station will include 600 additional waiting benches, cleaner toilets, retail areas, and Lohia said The IRSDC was exploring other ideas such as video-game zones, virtual museums.
The new-look Habibganj railway station will boast of a glass dome-like structure and have facilities such as food plazas and cafeterias and a plush waiting lounge.
Gandhinagar, the other station which will join Habibganj as the first two state-of-the-art stations, will be completed in record two years’ time – its foundation stone was laid by the PM in January 2017.
According to Lohia, 42 per cent of the civil work has already been completed and it will be ready in time to hold the Vibrant Gujarat Summit in January 2019, he said.
The Rs 250-crore redevelopment project is a SPV between the IRSDC and the Gujarat state government and will have a 5-star hotel with 300-rooms as its centre piece right above the tracks.
The ground floor of the hotel will be 22 metres above the ground and it will have three buildings, combined to give the shape of petals.