In a major initiative, railway stations and adjoining areas will be redeveloped on ‘Smart City lines’ for enhancing passenger amenities, easy access to stations and enabling optimal utilisation of land at railway stations.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed in this regard by the Ministries of Urban Development and Railways in the presence of Venkaiah Naidu and Suresh Prabhu.
Dr Sameer Sharma, Mission Director, Smart City Mission and Rajiv Chaudhary, Advisor, Ministry of Railways signed the MoU.
Both the ministers lauded the joint initiative as a “historic landmark that brings synergy in development of Smart Cities” since there can’t be a Smart City without a smart railway station.
Naidu said on the occasion that this convergence based city development will result in qualitative improvement in city life. He suggested involvement of local people in redevelopment plans.
The minister suggested that to begin with, 10 cities could be taken up for the proposed redevelopment with the involvement of National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) which has successfully executed redevelopment projects on a self-financing basis.
Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu said that railway stations have been the core of city development and have become congested over time, and their redevelopment offers immense opportunities for changing city landscapes. He said that several countries like Germany, France, Japan, South Korea, UK and Belgium have showed interest in redevelopment and a Round Table of domestic and overseas bankers will be organised soon to discuss financing of these redevelopment projects.