Mumbai: Soon spa, unisex salon, gaming zones and top retail brands at railway stations

Soon Mumbaikars will be able to enjoy the facilities of spa, unisex salon, gaming zones along with domestic and multi-national retail brands at railway stations. The Western Railway (WR) is offering space at Family Mall in Dadar and at the same time allowing amenities at other railway stations on the suburban route.

This is as part of their efforts to augment methods to generate revenue from non-fare box which until now has been limited to catering units, billboards, outdoor advertising and content on demand. According to sources in WR, they are looking at offering space at different railway station on the suburban section so as to utilize space.

The WR has is planning to offer space for unisex salons at Mumbai Central, Andheri, Kandivali, Goregaon and Borivali. At Mumbai Central Terminus, it has awarded contract for upgrading waiting room with facilities like massage and spa apart from spruced up interiors.

Dadar will be another railway station that will have a shopping mall in its precincts.

Officials have also called tenders for developing, maintaining and operating ‘Family Mall’ at Dadar railway station. “There is space available on the wide foot over bridge next to the ticket booking counters. We will be utilizing this space for the Family Mall that would be allotted for period of 5 years and we expect to generate a revenue of Rs 11.10 crore from the same,” said a WR official.

The location proposed for Family Mall at Dadar is booking office hall on the foot over bridge situated on the first floor of the East side station building measuring 508.46 sq.meters. The concept of Family Mall is basically for value retailing by bringing several multi-brands under one roof keeping in mind the passenger’s need for different products like grocery, apparels, accessories, game-zone, multiplex etc. The licensee will be entitled to sub-let whole or part of the allotted space to any person, entity, national or international retail multi-brands and utility services.

This will be on the lines of commercial buildings that were built on railway station buildings in Navi Mumbai on Central Railway. As per plans along with shopping arcade on the station premises; the private licensee will be allowed to create security booth, reception booth, passenger waiting area, gaming zone, ATM kiosks, recreation room etc.

Due to the pandemic, the rail authorities feel that it could have an effect on attracting private parties and developers for these projects. Analysis on sources of revenue states that non-fare box revenues in the Mumbai suburban network amount to around Rs 100 crore. Advertising forms more than 2/3rd of this revenue, rentals from station retail and catering units and other sources, forms the rest.

As per MRVC study in 2014, the contribution of non-fare box revenue for railways in Mumbai is 6 percent as against other cities like at Hong Kong that stands at 41 percent, Tokyo at 33 percent, Singapore at 24 percent, DMRC, Delhi at 20 percent and Taipei at 13 percent.

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Free Press Journal