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India urged to redevelop its central rail stations

A look inside Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. (Indiasaiko3p /

What if India’s rail stations were incorporated into Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan for 100 smart cities? Shailesh Pathak writes for Swarajya, a website that explores ideas for the “new India,” that centrally located rail depots must be leveraged if Modi’s goals are to be achieved.

Redevelopment of India’s rail stations should be treated as urban renewal projects — and not just upgrades to mass transit facilities, he writes. Pathak, a financial services professional who has worked on urban projects, sees railway stations as economic catalysts and spokes for dense development. He considers them essential to reducing auto congestion, commute times and energy consumption. In addition, they promote healthy options such as walking and cycling.

“There is a compelling case for making a smart city around the economic zone of influence of the transport hub built around the railway station,” Pathak writes. He recommends that India initially implement these ideas in ten cities, and then expand the approach to more metropolises.


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