Suresh Prabhu Current Affairs

Government unveils first phase of Station Redevelopment Programme

Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu unveiled the first phase of the ambitious Station Redevelopment Programme. It is the world’s largest transit-oriented development programme ever executed.

As part this programme, tenders are being floated for 23 of a total of the total 400 A1 and A category stations selected re-developing in the first phase.

Stations being modernised in 1st phase: Lokmanya Tilak, Pune, Visakhapatnam, Thane,Howrah, Faridabad, Jammu Tawi, Kamakhya, Secunderabad, Udaipur City, Vijaywada, Chennai Central, Ranchi,  Kozhikode, Bangalore Cantt, Yesvantpur, Bhopal, Mumbai Central, Bandra Terminus, Borivali and Indore.

Key Facts 

  • Station Redevelopment Programme is the biggest non-fare revenue generating programme being undertaken by Indian Railways.
  • Financial Model of the programme: It will be executed in a public-private-partnership (PPP) model through a fair bidding system.
  • Government will not incur any expenditure as the developer will be rebuilding the railway stations and maintaining it for 15 years.
  • In return, the developer would be granted 45 years’ leasing rights for the commercial properties developed at these stations. These properties could be hotels, malls, hospitals, among others.
  • Selection Process: These stations will be awarded to private developers under the so-called Swiss challenge method. It involves inviting proposal online and allowing rival bidders to beat that proposal.
  • Amenities at Revamped stations: escalators, elevators, digital signage, self-ticketing counters, executive lounges, walkways, luggage screening machines, free and paid WiFi, etc.
  • Commercial potential of the vacant Railway land at and near the stations will be leveraged to develop world-class stations.

Significance

The entire programme is estimated to attract investment of upto Rs 1 lakh crore from the developers. It will help Railways will generate a surplus of Rs 10,000 crore which can be invested in other modernisation programmes. Most of the pension funds in the world and a multilateral agency like World Bank are keen to participate in this project. It will benefit more than 100 cities and 16 million passengers per day across the country.

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Indian Railways launches insurance scheme for passengers travelling on e- ticket

Indian Railways has launched an insurance scheme for passengers travelling on e- ticket. The insurance cover will be upto 10 lakh rupees.

The insurance scheme was launched by Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in New Delhi. For this scheme, Indian Railways has roped in Shriram General Insurance Company, ICICI Lombard and Royal Sundaram General Insurance for providing the insurance cover.

Key provisions of insurance scheme

  • Person booking a train ticket through the IRCTC website will be eligible for the travel insurance and it is optional. To avail the facility, train passengers have to pay 92 paisa premium.
  • The insurance cover will not be applicable for children upto 5 years of age and foreign citizens. The facility will be available only for confirmed and RAC ticket passengers.
  • The scheme offers travellers or nominees a compensation of 10 lakh Rupees in the event of death or total disabilty, 7.5 lakh Rupees for partial disability.
  • Besides it will pay upto 2 lakh Rupees for hospitalisation expenses and 10,000 rupees for transportation of mortal remains from the place of a train accident.

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