By leasing out its land to build hotels, malls, warehouses and even residential complexes Indian Railways hopes to mop up about Rs 2,000 crore. Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal announced that a target of Rs 1,000 crore each is proposed to be fixed for Rail Land Development Authority and IR Station Development Corporation in 2013-14.
The 43,000 hectares (one lakh acres) of vacant land at the disposal of Railways is worth an estimated Rs 22 lakh crore. Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) was set up in 2006 to generate revenues by commercially exploiting rail land by leasing it to developers. Parsvnath Group was awarded the lease for developing 16.5 hectares for a 90-year period, in 2010.
As part of the agreement, the company was to build residential flats and a commercial complex on the land and keep aside 5.5 hectares for the Railways. The developer had even paid Rs 330 crore to RLDA as the second instalment of the Rs 1,651 crore lease amount.
The Minister said land acquisition for nearly 2,800 km of the eastern and western freight corridors was almost complete. The first major civil construction contract on the 343-km Kanpur-Khurja section of the eastern corridor has been awarded and by the end of 2013-14, construction contract to cover up to 1,500 km on the two corridors would be awarded and the work started.