New Delhi: The Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is looking into the possibility of investing in the state and city’s station development projects. Officials from IRCTC have asked officials of both the bodies to include them in plans of utilising the stations commercially, especially those in the Kalyan-Dombivali section. The IRCTC has already looked into similar projects at Bhubaneshwar, Orissa.
According to sources, the proposal was made by the IRCTC but the state officials did not seem enthusiastic about the idea but have promised to think over it. “The IRCTC is primarily a ticketing service provider but has begun their foray into providing high end services like making luxury trains more affordable for the common man. The proposal was made with the intention of combining IRCTC’s skills like their experience in hospitality with the state’s ability to plan and provide high-end services to commuters,” said an official under the condition of anonymity.
The Indian Railways has announced that 400 stations would be developed throughout the country including city stations like CST and Mumbai Central.
Officials also said that they are considering Kalyan-Dombivali stations as they have a large number of footfall and would be a good financial decision due to the revenue expected out of it. “The IRCTC sees potential in these areas as their footfall now is more than even the stations in South Mumbai like CST or Mumbai Central,” the official said.
Nearly 1,000 railway stations across the country have been developed as ‘Adarsh’ stations having facilities such as toilets, drinking water, catering services and waiting rooms, by the Indian Railways. Also, progress for development of stations under ‘Adarsh’ station scheme is monitored regularly at various levels viz. zonal railway level and Railway Board level. The expenditure on development of stations under Adarsh Station Scheme is generally funded under Plan Head – ‘Passenger Amenities’.