Indian Railways will begin implementing its ambitious plan of changing the face of the Secunderabad-Vijayawada railway stations here on Wednesday, with Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu to launch the Station Redevelopment Project from New Delhi.

According to a South Central Railway communiqué, the Secunderabad and Vijayawada Railway Stations would be among 23 stations selected for the first phase of the Redevelopment Project. The project is being taken up under the Swiss Challenge method, which involves inviting a proposal online and permitting rival bidders to beat that proposal with a more attractive one.

From among over 8,000 stations in the country, 400-plus stations have been selected for various phases of the station redevelopment programme, based on the present revenue the stations are generating, SCR officials said.

The redevelopment of the station will primarily consist of upgrading the level of passenger amenities by

new constructions/renovations and include redevelopment of station buildings, platform surfaces, circulating area etc., to serve the needs of the passengers in a better way.

Commercial establishments including hotels, multiplexes, and shopping malls etc., will come up on the land earmarked by the Railways for the use of the developer. In return the developer will hold the rights for commercial exploitation of the land at the station for a period of 45 years, while the ownership of the land remains with the Railways.

The Secunderabad Railway Station, the first station in the present jurisdiction of SCR was inaugurated in 1874.The station, which falls under A-1 Category, handles around 1.5 lakh users and 230 passenger carrying trains each day, generating earnings of around Rs.2 crore. The station is the first on Indian Railways to have the facility of being connected to all platforms with escalators.

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