Will it be better if private sector enterprises enter to revamp railway stations? That’s a question that has been asked several times. The railway station in Habibganj in Bhopal might be an answer to all those lingering questions. Located in Bhopal, Habibganj will be the first station to be built under a public-private partnership. The station is being built to be at par with international standards. The launch of redevelopment work at the Habibganj station is scheduled to begin on June 9 after a green flag by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu.

The contract to build, maintain and operate the station has been handed over to a local firm Bansal Group for eight years. The company has been given four land parcels on a lease for 45 years. The revamping of the station will cost nearly Rs 100 crore. Also, additional four land parcels have also been proposed to be made into commercial spaces which are likely to cost another Rs 350 crore.

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The station that is being developed in 17, 245 square meters will be converted into a world-class transit hub. It will also have shopping stores, restaurants and eateries, parking lot and several other facilities.

Apart from the look and feel factor, the station will also have facilities that adhere to differently abled people. It is being designed keeping the security factor in mind so that passengers can exit safely in just 4 minutes in case of an emergency. Powered by solar energy, it is being developed as an environment-friendly station.

This is not the only station that will be undergoing a revamp. Anand Vihar, Brijwasan, Chandigarh, Gandhinagar and Shivaji Nagar station in Pune are also set to be revamped by the Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Limited (IRSDC).

So are people loving the move? Twitter has mixed responses

Some applauded:

Some criticised:

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