Sunday, June 28, 2009

Multi-storeyed complex to come up on railway land

Multi-storeyed complex to come up on railway land
S Lalitha, Bangalore, DH News Service:

For the first time in the City, unutilised land belonging to the Railways will be put into use for commercial purposes.

The stretch of railway land on Platform Road, near the City railway station where a commercial complex is proposed to come up. dh photo The land in question is a sprawling stretch on Platform Road, near the City railway station. It encountered a technical problem with Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL), which has been resolved now.

The Bangalore Division of the Railways recommended this portion of the land, measuring over one hectare (1.112 hectares), to the Railway Board for commercial development as it did not foresee its utilisation for operational purposes in the near future. The Board has handed over the land to the Rail Land Development Authority (RLTA), a statutory body constituted under the Railway Ministry nearly three years ago. RLTA aims at generating additional revenue for the Indian Railways by exploiting surplus railway land.

The land, located adjacent to a petrol bunk, has been segregated into two plots as one portion lies at an elevated plane, informed Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Akhil Agrawal. “One portion has an area of 0.662 hectare while the other measures 0.450 hectare,” he said. “It will be the first such instance in the City when a commercial structure will come up on railway land ever since the RLTA was constituted,” the DRM added. Tenders will be called for in this connection shortly.

Tests underway

As the Metro Rail would pass under this stretch of land, there were apprehensions related to safety of passengers in case the soil loosens under the weight of the proposed mammoth structure. “We are now conducting fissure testing on the spot to strengthen the soil,” said a representative of BMRCL. “Things are proceeding smoothly and we do not foresee any problems if a building comes up,” he added. The RLTA would pass over the revenue generated to the Indian Railways. At present, there are 43,000 hectares of railway land unutilised all over the country and the RLTA is in the process of transforming these vacant spaces into revenue grossers.

RLTA is already constructing a multi-storeyed complex near Bandra railway station at Mumbai and similar constructions are in the offing in few parts of the country.


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