Kochi: Ernakulam junction will be among the 10 railway stations in the country that will be developed on the lines of airports.
The central government has set a deadline of 2020 for the renovation. This is as per an agreement signed with the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC), which comes under the urban development ministry.
Along with Ernakulam, other stations included in the project are Delhi Sarai Rohilla, Lucknow, Gomti Nagar, Kota, Tirupati, Nellur, Puducherry, Madgaon and Thane. The works will start by the end of next month or the beginning of the next year. The NBCC is aiming to finish the work in two and a half years.
Kozhikode was chosen from Kerala in the first phase of the plan to redevelop railway stations to international standards. Though the tender process was over involving private investors, the project didn't take off. Now, the development model adopted by the central agency NBCC will be extended to all stations.
Rs 5,000 crore will be spent to develop the 10 stations with modern platforms, lounges, ticket counters, separate entry and exits like airports, and all other related facilities. The funds for this purpose will be raised by through the commercial exploitation of railway land.
The railway land development authority has identified the land that can be utilized in this regard. Hotels, multiplexes, flats and shopping malls will come up at such land. The land lease will be for 45 years. However, the NBCC has sought a longer lease period.