A re­tail hub at Shivaji Sta­dium stn

From An­chor Stores To A Food Court, Metro Plans To Of­fer Many Op­tions

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY - @times­group.com

New Delhi: Years af­ter Re­liance In­fra­struc­ture, the first con­ces­sion­aire of the Air­port line, tried to max­i­mize the po­ten­tial of sta­tions on the line, Delhi Metro is go­ing all guns blaz­ing. Bank­ing on the ex­pe­ri­ence gained from the suc­cess­ful launch of the Nehru Place Metro sta­tion as a re­tail des­ti­na­tion, Delhi Metro Rail Cor­po­ra­tion (DMRC) is try­ing to con­vert Shivaji Sta­dium sta­tion on the Air­port line into a shop­ping hub as well.

From an­chor stores to a food court, Shivaji Sta­dium Metro sta­tion will have it all, said the DMRC spokesper­son. “The spa­ces have al­ready been oc­cu­pied by Re­gus, Vasco, vAs­sist and oth­ers. Level one is al­most com­pletely oc­cu­pied and will in­clude out­sourc­ing com­pa­nies, busi­ness cen­tres, MNC’s, banks, cafes, kiosks and of­fices,” added the Metro of­fici- al. One of the prom­i­nent com­pa­nies set­ting up shop is VFS Global, the visa pro­cess­ing com­pany.

Be­sides VFS Global, Metro is rop­ing in oth­ers, the em­pha­sis be­ing on food chains. “The re­sponse at Nehru Place has been very en­coura- ging. We hope to repli­cate the same at Shivaji Sta­dium sta­tion,” said the DMRC of­fi­cial. As part of the deal, the con­course level as well as the mez­za­nine level of the sta­tion is be­ing utilised. The li­cence to op­er­ate and main­tain these spa­ces has been gi- ven to a con­sor­tium and the lease fixed for 25 years.

In 2011, R-In­fra had tried to max­i­mize Shivaji Sta­dium Metro sta­tion—lo­cated in the heart of Con­naught Place and ad­ja­cent to New Delhi Rail­way sta­tion. How­ever, the re­sponse had been luke­warm back then.

Delhi Metro, now, hopes to gen­er­ate sub­stan­tial rev­enue from the pro­ject. With rid­er­ship on the Air­port line go­ing up in the past year, DMRC hopes to tap in both Metro com­muters as well as prospec­tive shop­pers. How­ever, much like R-In­fra, Delhi Metro too is try­ing to keep the re­tail stores in the un­paid area of the sta­tion to al­low even peo­ple not us­ing the Metro to walk in.

DMRC has been try­ing to repack­age and in­cen­tivise travel by the Air­port line. Not only has it slashed prices by over 40% and in­creased the num­ber of trains on the line, but it has also made the smart card us­able across the Metro net­work. The im­pact is vis­i­ble al­ready, said Metro of­fi­cials. In March 2014, a daily rid­er­ship of 12,468 was recorded. A year later, it is 19,466—an in­crease of nearly 7,000. On Au­gust 28 this year, more than 32,000 peo­ple trav­elled by the Air­port line.

Piyal Bhat­tachar­jee

A SHOP­PER’S STOP: Metro plans to model it on the lines of the Nehru Place sta­tion

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