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Multi-Functional Complexes at railway stations lying idle

Image result for Multi-Functional Complexes (MFCs)  railways trichy

Railway activists expressed concern over the prolonged delay in making functional Multi-Functional Complexes (MFCs) that were constructed at many railway stations across India and a few of which are becoming dilapidated.

Replying to an RTI query about the operational status of MFCs, Ircon Infrastructure and Service Limited (IrconISL) said that 11 out of 24 MFCs were yet to become operational. The development of MFCs at railway stations was announced in the railway budget of 2009–10, as part of implementing passenger amenities like budget hotel, restaurant, food courts, parking, basement and shopping area (retail shops, anchor stores, traveller’s shop, medical shop, ATM etc.).

The Ministry of Railways had planned to construct MFCs at 198 railway stations and Rs 1211 crores were allocated till the year 2015–16. According to the reply to an RTI request by this correspondent, MFCs have been built in 24 railway stations at a cost of Rs 97.27 crore, out of which only 13 are functioning. The remaining 11, which cost Rs 38.54 crore, are yet to be commissioned. 

Madurai and Digha (West Bengal) are among the stations where the MFCs are to become functional. Sub-lease contract for some MFCs, including Mysore, Hyderabad and Thiruvalla (Kerala) have been terminated.

Due to the delay in making the MFCs functional on time, a few of the unused buildings are becoming run-down. According to the officials of Southern Railway Madurai Division, the sub-lease contract of Madurai complex, which is worth Rs 10.6 crores, was taken by the Madurai Multi-Functional Complex Private Limited during 2015. It will start functioning in two months, the officials said.

Commenting on the delay in making the MFCs functional, K Padmanathan, General Secretary of Southern Railway Passengers Welfare Organization, said he was unhappy. “Whenever rail users ask the Railways for amenities at stations or to commission new lines, the ministry rejects their demand stating that there is no fund. It is rather paradoxical that it is simply keeping MFCs, worth crores of rupees, non-functional for so many years,” he said.

“Since  the Centre has planned to construct MFCs in several stations in Tamil Nadu including Erode, Nagercoil, Rameswaram, Salem, Tiruchy, Thiruttani and  Vellore, Southern Railway should appoint a special officer who should not be transferred for at least five years to take care of the MFC project,” he suggested

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