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IRSDC to redevelop railway land, transform railway station areas into Railopolis

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Railopolis is a mini smart city with mixed-use development where one can live, work, play and ride
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The new set of codes, guidelines and norms, set the approach and methodology for station redevelopment.

Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation (IRSDC), the nodal agency for the station redevelopment in India, plans to redevelop railway land area on principles of Transit Oriented Development and has released a set of codes, guidelines and norms to transform railway stations into a Railopolis.

These codes will lead to a systematic and scientific standardization of the development of railway stations, including commercial development on railway land, experts said.

Testing of the draft codes is being done at the ongoing station redevelopment projects at Chandigarh, Nagpur, Gwalior, Amritsar, Bijwasan, Anand Vihar, CSMT and is targeted to be formally adopted by May 28.

Redevelopment of Railway Stations is a priority agenda of the government that will transform railway station areas into a Railopolis, a mini smart city with mixed-use development where one can live, work, play and ride, thus attracting huge investment and business opportunities.

TOD creates a 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.

While TOD puts urban lands to optimal use, the associated higher FSI, denser developments, bigger catchments and increased foot traffic help stabilize property prices and increase property tax revenues from the same land parcel for municipal corporations.

The Guidebook for Operationalizing National TOD Policy for Railway Station (Re) development contains tools and processes for layout planning within railway land. These are for enhancing the value of precinct sustainably through strategic restructuring, regeneration of derelict, under-utilized and/or overburdened areas, IRSDC said.

The form-based codes for commercial development of railway land comprises sub-plot development control norms, codes for layout regulating plans and codes for property development cards for sub-plots.

The codes for architectural design of commercial assets contains codes for architectural design of assets within sub-plots designated for commercial development.

The Green Building Codes for commercial development on railway land consists of minimum, non-negotiable green building requirements recommended by BEE, GOI.

Codes for Railway Heritage Assets (RHA) provide desired response and controls in conserving Railway Heritage Assets as heritage in continued use.

Conventional codes restrict or control (a) Land use Classification, (b) Area and Height Limitations, (c) Parking Spaces, (d) FAR and Ground Coverage in developments. It results in segregated land uses and longer trip distances. Form-Based Codes (FBC), on the other hand, regulate building forms, their relationship with the Urban Environment and the performance of its spaces and features.

IRSDC hosted a national webinar on the subject and presented the codes to the stakeholders for their inputs.

“These codes formulated by IRSDC will lead to a systematic and scientific standardization of the development of railway stations, including commercial development on railway land. The redevelopment of stations will become a model for the rest of the world to emulate,” said Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog.

Berlin Station redevelopment is the perfect example of a world-class redeveloped railway station that exemplifies an integrated development encompassing integration of all the modes, shopping, hotel spaces, and much more, he 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. Form-based codes for the redevelopment of railway stations will bring standardization in railway station redevelopment and also reduce the cost of development,” said Durga Shanker Mishra, secretary, MoHUA.

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