Railways To Develop 15 Odisha Stations Into ‘Mini Smart Cities’

Bhubaneswar: Railways has selected 15 stations in Odisha as part of a countrywide plan to develop them into railopolis.

As part of the agenda, Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation (IRSDC) will redevelop the selected railway stations into mini smart cities with mixed-use development where one can live, work, play and ride, thus attracting huge investment and business opportunities.

The 15 stations in Odisha earmarked for the ambitious project are Puri, Cuttack, Khurda Road, Berhampur, Bhadrak, Jajpur-Keonjhar Road and Balugaon in Khurda Road division, Sambalpur, Balangir, Titlagarh and Kesinga in Sambalpur division, Rourkela and Jharsuguda in Chakradharpur division, Rayagada in Waltair division and Balasore in Kharagpur division.

IRSDC plans to redevelop railway land area on principles of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) and has issued a set of draft codes to transform the railway stations into Railopolis.

Railway sources said TOD entails balanced mix of land use through concentrated residential development at a walking distance of 500 to 800 m along the transit corridor, or from the transit station. This increases “walkability”, encourages public transport use and also makes “last-mile” options such as cycle sharing systems much more viable.

As for the codes, they will lead to a systematic and scientific standardization of the development of railway stations, including commercial development on railway land, sources said.

“Railway stations in India are centrally located in all cities. Redeveloping these railway stations in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of Smart Cities can change the entire landscape of the cities,” the Secretary of Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry, Durga Shanker Mishra, was quoted as saying by Money Control.

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