The Ministries of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and Railways (MoR) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for ‘Station Area Development along Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail’ (Project SMART). This program is part of a wider endeavor to enhance the areas surrounding the Mumbai – Ahmedabad High Speed Railway (MAHSR) Stations.
Objectives Of Project SMART
Project SMART aims to improve commuter and other stakeholders’ accessibility and convenience, as well as to promote economic activity near station areas. Furthermore, the project is intended to promote and strengthen the institutional capacity of state governments, municipal corporations, and urban development authorities in the planning, development, and management of MAHSR station surrounding regions.
The Four HSR Stations Under The MoU
The agreement was signed for four High Speed Rail Stations in Gujarat, including Sabarmati, Surat, and Virar and Thane in Maharashtra. Greenfield developments include Surat, Virar, and Thane, while brownfield developments include Sabarmati.
Seminars And Field Visits For Project SMART
Project SMART seminars and field visits are being organized in Delhi, Ahmedabad, and Mumbai by MoHUA, the governments of Gujarat and Maharashtra, and JICA. On May 8, 2023, the first seminar in the series was held in Nirman Bhawan in New Delhi.
Participants In The Seminars
Officers from the Japan Embassy, JICA Headquarters, JICA India Office, JICA specialists’ team, Ministry of Railway, National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited, MoHUA, and TCPO attended the session.
Contributions Of Seminars To The Development Plans
The seminars’ discussions will help to develop ‘Station Area Development Plans’ for the HSR stations in Sabarmati, Surat, Virar, and Thane, as well as a model handbook containing experiences and methodologies used in Japan, India, and other countries for Transit Oriented Development (TOD) and Station Area Development.
The Station Area Development along the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (Project SMART) is a significant initiative aimed at improving commuter accessibility and convenience, promoting economic activity, and strengthening the institutional capacity of state governments, municipal corporations, and urban development authorities in the MAHSR stations’ surrounding areas. Seminars and field trips organized by MoHUA, the governments of Gujarat and Maharashtra, and JICA will aid in the creation of effective station area development plans and the promotion of transit-oriented development.
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