NEW DELHI: Indian Railways will offer about 3 lakh sq ft of commercial space for redevelopment at a railway colony near the railhead at Varanasi, the ancient pilgrimage centre that is also a part of the Centre’s ambitious Smart City project.
The project involves building a commercial complex at the site that houses the railway colony. The Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) has invited online bids for a 45-year lease. The reserve price for commercial development is fixed at Rs 24 crore.
“The project is situated in Varanasi, which has been identified as a part of the ambitious Smart City project. The project is connected to a railway station and to prominent landmarks via public transportation,” said Ved Parkash Dudeja, Vice Chairman, RLDA. “The redevelopment of the railway colony will be the first of its kind in this area, with planned development and will boost the real estate market in the vicinity.”
The area entrusted for re-development is proposed as a multi-story building complex with parking space, which could be a hotel or a commercial tower. The eligible developer offering the highest lease premium will be awarded the land parcel. The selection will be made through online bidding.
The total land area entrusted for this project is about 2.5 hectare, out of which about one hectare is earmarked for redevelopment of railway colony and the balance 1.5 hectare land has been offered for commercial development.
The developer shall also maintain the re-developed colony for a period of five years.
The pre-bid meeting for briefing of intending developers and for addressing their queries was held online on November 6 and the deadline for the submission of e-bids is December 22.
“Situated on the bank of the river Ganga, Varanasi is regarded as the holiest among Hindu religion hubs. It has played a pivotal role in the development of Jainism and Buddhism. The city witnesses a huge footfall of devotees every year who come to bathe in the sacred waters of the holy river Ganga,” RLDA said in a statement.
RLDA is a statutory body under the Ministry of Railways, mandated with the monetization and development of vacant railway land for commercial use, in addition to redevelopment of railway colonies and stations.
RLDA is currently handling 84 railway colony redevelopment projects and has recently leased out a railway colony in Guwahati for redevelopment. Of the Indian Railways’ land bank of approximately 43,000 hectares, RLDA has 92 greenfield commercial sites across the country for leasing and the eligible developers for each will be selected through bids.