As reported earlier, Railways are looking at utilising their vast network, across the length and breadth of the country, to set up retail hubs for ago commodities in a tie up with major retailers like Reliance, Bharti, Tata and Biyani owned Future Group. According to a report in the Economic Times, the blue print for such an initiative is likely to be finalised within a fortnight.
These retail hubs would also include facilities for cold storage and warehouses on unutilised railway land, surrounding the railway lines and stations. The railways own around 44,000 hactares of utilisable land. While, the railways are not looking at entering into the real estate business, they are considering to offer their land holdings as equity in retail ventures of such retail players.
It may be recalled that only about a fortnight back the railways have finalised arrangements with 14 private parties like Cargill, Kribhco and RIL for owning and operating container train services. The second round for container train allotment is expected soon.
Both the allotment of containers and land for retail to private players will rake in big money for the railways.