The government's plan to revamp the New Delhi railway station has hit another hurdle as Indian Railway has cancelled the bidding process for the same, a report published in The Times of India (TOI) said. This is the third time that the project has been cancelled, the report added.
Earlier, infrastructure major Larsen and Toubro (L&T) had emerged as the lowest bidder for the project. L&T quoted more than Rs 8,000 crore for the renovation. However, the government's bid price was around Rs 5,000 crore. Citing budget constraints and the lowest bid price being substantially higher than estimates, Railways have put a halt to the redevelopment plan.
Renovation plan for key railway stations
The Union Cabinet had approved a total of Rs 10,000 crore for the redevelopment of three major railway stations in the country. This included Rs 5,000 crore for New Delhi station, around Rs 2,000 crore for the Mumbai station, and Rs 3,000 crore for the Ahmedabad railway station, the TOI report said.
Earlier attempts at the New Delhi Railway Station revamp
The government had tried to renovate the New Delhi railway station in 2001-02 and 2008-09, but the projects could not see daylight. Another attempt for redevelopment failed in 2021 when the government was planning the project in public-private partnership mode.
Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT)
Mumbai railway station, which is a Unesco-listed world heritage site, invited bids of around Rs 2,000 crore, to which, only four companies had submitted their applications. The companies included Larsen and Toubro (L&T), Afcons Infrastructure, Ahluwalia Contracts, and Nagarjuna Construction.
Ahluwalia Contracts was declared the lowest bidder for the project to redevelop the iconic railway station in Maharashtra. Notably, no changes will be made to the station's gothic-style heritage building.
Ahmedabad Railway Station Revamp Plan
Afcons Infrastructure was declared the lowest bidder to redevelop Ahmedabad Junction Railway Station in Gujarat. The design of the new station building will be inspired by Modhera Sun Temple. The revamped station will have an open-space Amphitheatre. Reportedly, L&T, Afcons, and NCC submitted their bids for the Ahmedabad Station redevelopment project.
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Earlier this year, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had announced the plan to modernise existing railway infrastructure. The redevelopment of railway stations was a key part of this announcement. However, high costs and budget constraints have emerged as a major roadblock in the redevelopment effort.