Railways to spend Rs 556 crore to redevelop Lucknow’s majestic Charbagh station
The Charbagh project comprises integrated development and redevelopment of both Lucknow Charbagh and Lucknow Junction along with a 12.23-acre commercial land parcel with the objective to equip it with state-of-the-art amenities.
Lucknow, 3 June 2021
The majestic Charbagh Railway Station, which is among the most enduring historical and architectural symbols of Lucknow – the capital city of Uttar Pradesh — will witness a comprehensive redevelopment to prepare the precincts for the future.
The Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) has floated a Request for Qualification (RfQ) for redeveloping Charbagh Railway Station on a Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Transfer (DBFOT) model in two phases at an estimated cost of about Rs 556 crore.
The pre-bid meeting for developers held on April 9, 2021, elicited good participation. The deadline for the submission of RfQ is June 24, 2021.
RLDA is a statutory body under the Ministry of Railways for the development of Railways land. It has four key mandates, namely leasing of commercial sites, colony redevelopment, station redevelopment and multi-functional complexes.
At present, RLDA is working on 60 stations in a phased manner while its subsidiary Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Limited (IRSDC) has taken up another 63 stations. The railway stations will be redeveloped on a public-private partnership (PPP) model as part of Smart City Projects launched by the Centre.
The Indian Railways has approximately 43,000 hectares of vacant land pan-India, of which RLDA has over 84 greenfield commercial sites for leasing to eligible developers after selection through an e-bidding process. RLDA is currently handling 84 railway colony redevelopment projects.
Meanwhile, the Charbagh project comprises integrated development and redevelopment of both Lucknow Charbagh (officially Lucknow NR, station code: LKO) and Lucknow Junction (officially Lucknow NER, station code: LJN) along with a 12.23-acre commercial land parcel with the objective to equip it with state-of-the-art amenities like segregation of arrival and departure, air concourse, foot overbridges (FOBs), lifts and escalators, conducive facilities for the specially-abled passengers etc.
The cost of Phase 1 redevelopment is estimated at Rs 442 crore over three years, whereas Phase 2 is expected to incur Rs 114 crore over two years.
“Lucknow is among the fastest-growing cities in North India. The city is home to several manufacturing and processing units and possesses a robust administrative, banking and financial network of institutions. The redevelopment of the Lucknow Railway Station will augment the tourism potential and lead to employment generation. It will also boost real estate in the vicinity and have a formidable socio-economic impact on the region,” RLDA vice-chairman Ved Parkash Dudeja noted.
The design will incorporate the Green Building concept and adhere to the life-cycle cost minimization approach, which will be the hallmarks of the newly redeveloped station. At the same time, the heritage look of the existing grand station building will be retained.
Lucknow, popularly known as the ‘City of Nawabs’, is witnessing rapid economic growth. Among the bigger manufacturing units, Lucknow has Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Tata Motors, Eveready Industries and Scooters India Limited.
The proposed industrial corridor between Lucknow and Kanpur on the line of Greater Noida with four IT SEZs is expected to propel economic growth in the region.
(Virendra Singh Rawat is a Lucknow-based journalist who writes on contemporary issues of industry, economy, agriculture, infrastructure, budget etc.)