With large number of footfalls of around 27 million passengers daily at its station, Union Minister for Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhu is exploring to collaborate with retailers to monetise these footfalls to make railway stations an attractive retail hub than malls.
Speaking at the valedictory session of the two-day India Retail Forum 2016, Prabhu said, “Railway has a tremendous potential for retail market as the footfalls are directly proportionate to brands getting maximum exposure benefitting the retail economy.”
The ministry has already embarked upon an initiative of re-developing 400 major railway stations with a plan to make them a more attractive hub than the retail space in the malls, he said at the forum which was attended by over 1300 delegates from India and overseas.
He recalled the proposed partnership opportunity with various sectors in the first ever budget as railway minister in the parliament. “The first re-development will begin at Habibganj, Bhopal and the contract has already been done with and would be followed by other states,” Prabhu said.
Details of all 400 stations are mentioned on the railway website and the process of evaluation of applications will be done online. Right of lieu will be with the person who has submitted the best design, he said.
Sharing an instance, Prabhu said that in Surat, state government, Municipal corporation of Surat and railways will join hands to make Surat railway station the first ever integrated railway station will all modes of transport like buses, rickshaws connected. The contract is already signed with 34 companies showing interest, he said.