RRTS to provide space for hotels, flats above RapidX stations in Delhi

The National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC), which is constructing the Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS), is looking for partners to construct multilevel commercial areas such as hotels and offices above its Sarai Kale Khan and Anand Vihar stations — a first for any metro system in India — officials aware of the matter said on Monday.

The RRTS corridor at Kondli in New Delhi. The steel spans are being installed where the corridor will cross the Ghazipur drain from Ashok Nagar towards Anand Vihar. (PTI)

The officials said that under its transit-oriented development (TOD) policy, NCRTC has obtained air rights and has now floated an expression of interest (EOI) to explore the possibility of the construction of hotels, offices, or residential areas like high-rise flats above the RRTS stations.

“NCRTC intends to qualify and select a suitable partner for the proposed Transit Oriented Development on PPP mode at Sarai Kale Khan through an open competitive bidding process. Through this EOI process, the NCRTC intends to gauge industry perspective for successful commercial development (retail, offices and hotel etc.) as a whole or part and develop a common understanding of the proposed terms and conditions of the contract agreement based on such feedback from industry,” the EOI floated for Sarai Kale Khan station last week said.

HT has seen a copy of the Sarai Kale Khan EOI. A separate EOI has been floated for Anand Vihar.

The Anand Vihar station is on the upcoming Delhi-Meerut line, which is scheduled to begin operations in 2025, while three priority RRTS corridors — Delhi-Meerut, Delhi-Panipat, and Delhi-Alwar— will converge at Sarai Kale Khan station, which is being developed as a transit hub with multimodal integration, so that commuters can easily switch between the RRTS, the existing Metro station, bus stand and Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station.

The trains that will operate on these RRTS lines have been named RapidX.

“We have discussed the TOD at length, and having real estate development along RRTS stations is a great way to integrate all of people’s needs at one place. People can travel to, shop and stay at the same place. This is why we have floated the EOI to see what are the kinds of possibilities at this station,” said an NCRTC spokesperson.

Currently, the only rail station in India that has a commercial establishment constructed overhead is the Gandhinagar railway station in Gujarat, which has a five-star hotel above it.

Uttar Pradesh chief secretary Durga Shankar Mishra, one of the key officials involved in getting the TOD policy approved in 2017, said while the framework is in place, it is important for agencies to efficiently implement the projects. “The main challenges begin when implementation starts, which needs to be done urgently. We do have some projects like a hotel at the Gandhinagar station in Gujarat, but more residential and commercial development projects need to be done,” said Mishra.

In 2019, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) approved 12 TOD nodes in the Capital, but only the one at Karkardooma on the Blue and Pink lines has taken off, and has missed multiple deadlines for completion.

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