Construction of residential complexes will now be allowed around railway stations as part of an ambitious redevelopment programme of the Indian Railways approved by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday, a source said.
The Cabinet approval has cleared the way for the railways to commercially develop land and air space in and around stations and also provided for a longer lease tenure of up to 99 years from the previous 45 years.
According to news agency PTI, the source said the approval for residential complexes is not a blanket one, but will be decided on a case-to-case basis.
Senior railway officials said allowing residential development along with commercial development as part of the project will enhance its commercial viability.
While the Cabinet approval was obtained on June 24, 2015 to redevelop 'A1' and 'A' category stations (with higher earnings and footfalls) by zonal railways for a lease period of 45 years, it failed to take off.
Later, new model was planned by the ministry following meetings with infrastructure and real estate majors.
Under this plan, Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation and Divisional Railway Managers will redevelop the main station facilities after which the station, along with its land parcels, will be put up for bidding.
These residential complexes, the source said, was not for penthouses, but for smaller dwellings for people who are dependent on public transport rather than those who want to have personalised vehicles.
"Its the principle of transit-oriented development. Building densities around transit. It will not be limited to railway employees only," the source said.
IRSDC will be the nodal agency for the development of stations which is expected to cost Rs 1.07 lakh crore for the redevelopment of 600 stations.
Other then residential complexes, railways also envisages malls, shopping arcades, indoor games facilities and even space for socio-cultural events at stations.
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