CMRL keen on generating revenue through retail outlets, kiosks, ATMs
CHENNAI: With the fare-box operation (ticketing system), the Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) has made a decent revenue, especially post the Covid-19 lockdown.
The department has also generated a 37% revenue through non-fare box operation for the financial year 2021-22.
The non-fare box operations include retail shops, food and beverage kiosks, ATMs, office space, Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) among other services inside and around the Metro station premises. At present with nearly 80 of these different operations at 8 Metro stations – Central, Alandur, Tirumangalam, Koyambedu, Mannadi and Anna Nagar East and Tower – CMRL has marketed to various licensees on short-term basis.
An official with the CMRL said, “By regularly floating tenders, we’ve issued licenses to many operations functioning for more than 5 years. Through this, we’ve managed to generate 37% revenue as well.”
However, speaking about the condition during Covid-19 lockdown, the official added, “Though most shops, retails and ATMs are still operational, a few had surrendered their licenses during the lockdown due to fund crunch.”
Nonetheless, the CMRL has noticed a good response from commuters and public for kiosks and retail shops over the years.
The CMRL’s business development wing has been frequently floating tenders for licensing of bare shell shops, office space mini kiosks, kiosk ancillary buildings at selected elevated and underground Metro stations along Corridors 1-2 of phase 1 and its extension on regular basis.
Some of the regulations for setting up outlets are: licensee having a Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) certificates for business related outlets, and for pharmacy-related operations. It’s vital for bidders to have proof of securing drug license, registration with the State Drug Standard Control Organisation/Central Drug Standard Control organisation and more.
Speaking about having more outlets at stations, the official noted, “In the identified space for outlets in stations, about 30% has already been licensed. However, the balanced space in underground stations is yet to be facilitated with water, exhaust and drainage, which are essential for running operations.”
The CMRL is working on feasibility for providing basic utility provision for the balance space. The department has appointed Knight Frank, an International Property Consultant (IPC) as a Project Management Unit to augment non-fare box operations.
Assuring better facilities in phase 2, the official explained, “Through each phase and each project, we’re learning about bettering the facility. Hence in phase 2, utility and service will go together with the stations. Of course, there’d be an upgrade from existing service.”