GMR in race to develop Tirupati railway station
- Three agencies are shortlisted in the technical bidding process for `400 crore ambitious project
- The financial bidding will be completed soon to award the works to agency before December-end
- Under the initiative, the pilgrim city station will have amenities on par with international standards
Tirupati: The dreams of Tirupati railway station revamp may be realised very soon if everything goes in the right direction at least from now onwards. By overcoming hurdles one after another, the Rs400 crore ambitious project has reached the stage of choosing the final bidding agency to take up the project works.
After the pre-qualification tendering process, three agencies were shortlisted including GMR enterprises private limited while other two are I squared capital Asia private limited, Singapore and Anchorage infrastructure investment limited, Mumbai.
Prior to this, the state government has accorded all approvals paving the way for railways to go ahead with the project works. Initially, the agencies were reluctant as the operating period of project under PPP mode was only 30 years which was considered as too short to earn profits after reaching the breakeven point of expenditure.
In view of this, to provide more viability for the project, the period has increased to 60 years now following which the pre-qualification tendering process was completed, said GuntakalDRM Alok Tiwari.
Speaking to The Hans India, he said the Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) has initiated two stage tendering process and the bid in the first stage was opened on July 16 in which three agencies were qualified.
Now, a notification will be issued for a financial bid to finalise construction agreement and according to RLDA, the agency to carry out the project will be finalised before the end of December. Soon after the agency takes over the land, they will approach the local authorities to complete the necessary formalities. Once commenced, the works are expected to complete within three years, the DRM maintained.
It may be recalled that the station in the pilgrim city which witnesses huge traffic throughout the year, has to be developed to meet international standards. The idea gathered momentum in 2017 and at that time, it was expected to start the works before June 2018 to complete them by 2020. But the entire project has witnessed enormous delay due to technical issues. The Chairman of Railway Board Vinod Kumar Yadav, Railway Minister Piyush Goel and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu have shown much interest in this project and constantly pursued the procedures.
Once the project is completed, the facilities in the station will resemble those at airports with international standards to be maintained everywhere. On the south side of the station itself, 5.5 lakh square feet will be developed which will have multi-storied buildings, hotel, plaza, multiplex apart from retiring/running rooms. The station will have 10 platforms in the new set up as against the present five while the sixth platform may come in for operations.