Railways rent out over 1,000 hectares for commerce

March 11th, 2008 - 2:46 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 11 (IANS) The Indian Railways are renting out over 1,000 hectares of land across the country for commercial activities like constructing malls, hotels and motels, said Minister of State for Railways R. Velu. A Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) has been constituted to identify and commercially exploit the vast expanses of railway land all over the country, Velu said while replying to a starred question in the Rajya Sabha from member Shahid Siddiqui Monday.

The minister said: “The RLDA, an authority under the control of the ministry of railways, has been constituted to take up commercial development of railway land.

“So far 110 sites have been entrusted to the authority,” he informed the house.

The minister said that the total land given away to the RLDA was 1,075.269 hectares.

A railway official said most of this land was near the railway tracks and had been lying unutilised for decades.

Almost half of this land lies in Raipur, Chhatisgarh, which falls under South East Central Railways, the minister noted.

Giving a break-up, he said: “Hundred and seventy-three hectares of land belonging to the Raipur Yard has been handed over to the RLDA. Another 137 hectares of Raipur (Urkura), 121 hectares of Raipur (Kapa) and 126 hectares of Raipur (Waris Aleganj) have also been handed over.”

The Indian Railways plans to build 100 budget hotels across India and sources in the railway ministry said a large part of this land may be used for building these hotels.

“The government has decided to set up 100 budget hotels throughout the Indian Railways network in the vicinity of major railway stations through public private partnership,” Velu said.

Of the 100 hotels, four are to come up in Delhi, three in Mumbai, and two each in Chennai and Kolkata.

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