The railway ministry is set to award the first set of contracts for developing a dozen multi-functional complexes across the country by February next year.
Overall, the railways intend to build 66 MFCs at a cost of Rs 8 crore (Rs 80 million) each. MFCs would provide rail users with facilities like shopping, food stalls and restaurants, book stalls, telephone booths, medicine and variety stores, budget hotels and underground parking.
A senior official at Railway Land Development Authority said, "Initially, the railways had considered constructing MFCs in a phased manner. Last week, the ministry entrusted the responsibility of developing specific sites to different organizations for speedier implementation of projects. We expect more than 12 MFCs to be awarded for construction at Udaipur, Mysore, Raipur, Dehradun, among others, by February 2010."
Under this new initiative, six sites have been entrusted to RLDA, 20 to Rail india Technical and Economic Services Ltd and 23 to Ircon International Ltd for developing MFCs. Construction at the remaining 17 sites will progress under the ministry of railways and Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd.
The official added, "At the sites entrusted to RLDA, we have decided to conduct an internal assessment of the location. The projects will be awarded on a build, operate, lease and transfer basis to a developer. The lease period has been decided at 35-40 years."
Consultancy exercises usually require three months from the date of award of the contract. The railways is making efforts to internally assess and develop business plans for the projects, so that the establishment of these complexes can be expedited.
RLDA is developing MFCs at Cuttack, Dehradun, Nanded, Jhansi, Katra and Ujjain. Ircon, which is considering constructing complexes itself, will put up facilitites in Siliguri, Udaipur, Indore and Raipur, among other places.
Overall, the railways intends to build 66 multifunctional complexes in the country at an approximate cost of Rs 8 crore each. MFCs would provide rail users with facilities like shopping, food stalls and restaurants, book stalls, telephone booths, medicine and variety stores, budget hotels and underground parking.