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Bhopal, Indore railway stations among 23 in country taken up for privatization of services

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Senior Correspondent

BHOPAL: Bhopal and Indore railway stations are among the 23 in country that have now been taken up for privatization of services under public-private partnership (PPP) mode by the railways ministry.

Tender applications have already been invited for appointment of station facilitation managers (SFMs), who would be contractors for development, redevelopment and commercial development of the selected 23 stations in first phase.

Investment of Rs 75 crore each has been estimated redevelopment of the Bhopal and Indore railway stations in the Bhopal and Ratlam divisions of the Indian railways respectively, documents related to the decision show.

The tenders were/are to be opened on various dates in May and June.

Under the PPP mode, mainly the passengers’ amenities and commercial development of the railway stations would be done, while the operational activities like train operations, parcels and ticketing including platform ticketing, passengers and goods movement, overhead traction, signals and telecommunication, track work and others would remain with the railways. Other services would go to the SFMs.

Consequently, the railway staff engaged in the other activities on the stations would have to be transferred out and SFM appointed private staff would take over, the documents say.

The railway ministry has already expressed intent for redevelopment of 400 railway stations in the country under PPP mode. An agreement of redevelopment of the Habibganj railway station in Bhopal has already been signed with the Bansal group for Rs 400 crores investment.

Among the other 23 stations taken up for privatization of services include Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, Mumbai Central and Bandra Terminus in Mumbai, Howrah junction in Kolkata, Chennai Central, Pune and Kanpur Central stations.

Mukesh Pandey

An investigative journalist, he specially covers Western Madhya Pradesh. Mukesh has worked with several media houses in the past