India's first private railway station to come up in Bhopal's Habibganj
Habibganj, a suburb in Bhopal, will soon have a private railway station, the first in the country. This station is to come under a public-private partnership (PPP). Bhopal's Bansal Group is taking up the construction and maintenance of this railway station.
Managing Director of Bansal Group, Sunil Bansal in a chat with Livemint said,
"We plan to develop the commercial areas in two phases—two office-cum-shopping complexes in the first phase, and under the second phase, a multi-speciality hospital and a budget- and five-star hotel."
Bansal Group is investing Rs 100 crore to totally revamp Habibganj railway station, which was opened in 1979. More than Rs 350 crore will be spent on developing four commercial land parcels in an area of 17,245 sqm on a 45-year lease.
According to a report by The Hindu, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said,
"Till now, railways was depending on passenger and freight earnings. But time has come now to look beyond fare revenue. We can also join hands with counties like Germany, the UK, and France which have expertise in redevelopment to modernise a few stations here. I am also writing to all chief ministers to be part of the redevelopment project in their respective States."
According to a report by Economic Times, the Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation (IRSDC) has announced that Habibganj station will be developed according to international standards. An environment-friendly station, it will utilise solar energy and will have facilities for the differently abled. Should an emergency arise, the premises can be evacuated in four minutes and points of safety reached in six minutes.
It is all set to be opened to passengers in the next three years.