Indian Railways may partner with private developers to redevelop its colonies: Report

Moneycontrol News, May 25 2018

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The proposal has been placed before the Convention Committee of the Indian Railways

Indian Railways is considering a proposal to partner with private developers to redevelop its residential colonies spread across Mumbai, according to a reportin Mumbai Mirror.

The move may open up over 240 acres of land for the redevelopment.

The move aims to raise Rs 50,000 crore to fund an array of projects in Mumbai including the CST-Panvel elevated corridor, new AC trains, fifth and sixth lines between Borivali and Virar, and third and fourth lines between Kalyan and Badlapur.

The Western Railway has 15 staff colonies in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) while the Central Railway hosts 68 residential buildings in Parel, Matunga, Mumbai Central, Bandra, Andheri Borivali and Virar.

The proposal has been placed before the Convention Committee of the Indian Railways. The committee reviews and recommends action of key railway projects.

Railways has been negotiating with the state government to secure a floor space index (FSI) of four or five for the redevelopment projects. Currently, FSI of four is allowed for various redevelopment schemes, such as slum rehabilitation.

Urban planners, however, are opposing the plan stating that the redevelopment will only worsen congestion in the city. Mumbai is the most populous city in India with an estimated city proper population of 12.4 million as of 2011.

The move has also received resistance from environmentalist. “The railways were given land for providing services to people and it can’t act like a private builder. If it thinks it has excess land that can be redeveloped, it should be given back to the BMC or the state government,” environmentalist Debi Goenka, who had filed a writ petition against opening up of mill land, told the paper.

Railways had gained 600 acres of land in south and central Mumbai from the sale of mill and is expected to gain another 92 acres from the Bombay Development Department chawls redevelopment.

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