MoHUA and Railways collaborate with JICA for Station Area Development
The Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and the Ministry of Railways have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for ‘Station Area Development along Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail’ (Project-SMART). The project aims to develop the areas surrounding the Mumbai – Ahmedabad High-Speed Railway (MAHSR) stations to enhance accessibility and convenience for commuters and promote economic activities in the vicinity of station areas. The MoU is for four high-speed rail stations – Sabarmati, Surat, Virar, and Thane – out of the 12 stations on the route.
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Seminars and field visits to prepare Station Area Development Plans
To achieve this objective, MoHUA, the governments of Gujarat and Maharashtra, and JICA are organizing a series of seminars and field visits in Delhi, Ahmedabad, and Mumbai. The seminars will bring together officers from the Japan Embassy, JICA HQ and India office, JICA experts, the Ministry of Railways, the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited, and the Town and Country Planning Organization. These deliberations will contribute to the preparation of ‘Station Area Development Plans’ for Sabarmati, Surat, Virar, and Thane HSR stations and a model handbook that will contain experiences and methodologies adopted in Japan, India, and other countries for Transit Oriented Development (TOD) and Station Area Development.
Overall, the Project-SMART initiative seeks to facilitate and enhance the institutional capacity of state governments, municipal corporations, and urban development authorities to plan, develop, and manage surrounding areas of MAHSR stations. The development of these station areas will not only improve the convenience of commuting for passengers but will also have a positive impact on the economic growth of the region. The MoU and the subsequent seminars and field visits represent a significant step forward in realizing the vision of a modern, efficient, and sustainable transportation network in India.
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