Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA), a statutory authority of Indian Railways, has invited bids for leasing out two land parcels at Station Road near Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Katra Railway Station for commercial development. The reserve price for Parcel ‘A’ having an area of 7,521.45 sqm is Rs 14.18 Crore and for Parcel ‘B’ with an area of 7,831.23 sqm is Rs. 14.97 crores, both for a lease period of 45 years. A pre-bid meeting was conducted online and many local and National Level Developers participated in this pre-bid meeting and showed keen interest. The last date for submission of e-Bids is 24.10.2022.
The site is situated along Station Road, northeast of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi, Katra Railway Station, and is well connected to all parts of Katra city. Katra Development Authority has proposed an Inter-State Bus Stand towards the northwest of the railway station and very near to the site.
As per statistics published by Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, 55.88 lakh tourists visited the temple in 2021. In 2022, the number of pilgrims has already crossed 63.81 lakhs up to August 2022. An estimated 80 lakh pilgrims visit the temple every year making it the second most visited religious place in India, after Tirumala Venkateshwara Temple. The average influx of approx. 25,000 pilgrims per day make this site eminently suitable for commercial development.
Ved Parkash Dudeja, Vice Chairman, RLDA said, "The proposed land parcels located in close proximity of the railway station are ideal for commercial development. Katra, with its thriving tourism industry, offers plenty of scope for developing this land parcel into a commercial or retail space. Its strategic location will offer ample footfall to any kind of commercial development done on this land parcel."
Katra is well-connected by road with other places in Jammu and Kashmir and India. NH 144 passes through Katra. Presently, it takes around 12 hours to travel from New Delhi to Katra. The planned Delhi–Amritsar–Katra Expressway will shorten the duration to 7 hours. The Jammu–Baramulla line connects the Katra Railway Station of Northern Railways to the rest of the Indian railways' network. The nearest airport to Katra is Jammu Airport, located at a distance of 50 km. There are numerous helipads in and around Katra which have services to the Vaishno Devi Temple.
During the current Financial Year, RLDA has leased out 15 sites which are situated at Bangalore & Raichur (Karnataka), Liluah & Salt Golah (Howrah), Nizamabad (Telangana), Waltax Road & Egmore (Chennai), Bhopal (MP), Ludhiana (Punjab), Abu Road (Rajasthan), Bhusawal & Solapur (Maharashtra), Bareilly, Varanasi and Gorakhpur in UP for a cumulative lease premium of Rs. 1633 crore including railway assets valuing approx. Rs. 226 Crore which shall be developed in Bangalore, Bhopal, Egmore (Chennai), Bareilly and Ludhiana Railway Colonies.