irsdc: Bengaluru railway stations’ upkeep in disarray after Centre shuts IRSDC | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: The Centre’s decision to shut down the Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation (IRSDC) is likely to hit maintenance and revamping of railway stations in the city.
The Union ministry of railways on Monday decided to close IRSDC, which was set up in 2012 mainly for the redevelopment of stations.
The ministry stated in a notification that all stations managed by IRSDC would be handed over to their respective zonal railways. “All project-related documents shall be handed over to respective zonal railways by IRSDC. Zonal railways will further develop the station projects,” it said.
IRSDC has been maintaining KSR Bengaluru City railway station since February 2019. It also had plans to take over and maintain a few more stations, including Yeshwantpur, KR Puram and Bangarpet under South Western Railway (SWR).
Many passengers say the cleanliness of KSR Bengaluru City railway station improved after IRSDC took over. The corporation had brought UK-based Knight Frank for facility and asset management services. Many branded outlets and eateries were started at the station in the last two years.
“There was a visible improvement in the City railway station in terms of cleanliness during the IRSDC period. They also brought more branded and hygienic food joints. But we don’t know how going back to the old system helps passengers,” said Ramesh Kumar, a commuter.
At the City railway station, IRSDC also made a 12-foot tunnel aquarium, the first such facility in a railway station in the country. Another initiative was the Dawa Dost, a store selling generic medicines at discounted rates to passengers. The IRSDC also introduced premium parking charges: Rs 25 for four-wheelers and Rs 15 for two-wheelers for the first two hours. This reduced the number of vehicles entering the station. The IRSDC was also planning a fish pedicure facility, gaming zone and a music foundation, among other facilities, at the station. Many IRSDC employees are in shock after the announcement of the closure.
Station redevelopment plan affected
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Sources in the know said four railway stations in the city — KSR Bengaluru City, Yeshwantpur, Cantonment and the existing Byappanahalli station — were identified for re-development. With the closure of IRSDC, the fate of these projects also hangs in the balance. The IRSDC has already redeveloped Habibganj in Madhya Pradesh and Gandhinagar in Gujarat.
Sources said that the IRSDC has completed drawing up the plan for development of Byappanahalli station and sent it to the railway board for approval. Tenders will be floated once the board approves it. For the Cantonment station, the land is now with the Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA). It is likely to be used to set up a suburban rail terminal.
For the KSR Bengaluru City and Yeshwantpur stations, the IRSDC has submitted the conceptual drawing to the Bengaluru division for approval.
“The IRSDC was supposed to be an independent body, but its hands were tied. They were more professional. But the IRSDC was different from the traditional railway set-up which was marred by corruption and red tape. There were also several irregularities in the allotment of shops at the stations but that was reduced after the IRSDC took over,” said a source.
Rail arcade proposal scrapped
A Rail arcade which was supposed to come up at the City railway station has been scrapped. The IRSDC had floated a tender for setting up and maintaining a rail arcade. It wanted to replicate the concept of The Quad by BLR, an open-air food & beverage area at Kempegowda International Airport, which also hosts live events. The tender has now been cancelled because of administrative reasons.





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Sagar Biswas

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