Rail ministry opens the door for pvt sector investment worth Rs 30,000 crore
GN Bureau | July 2, 2020
A long-debated idea is finally coming to fruition as the Indian railways has decided to join hands with the private sector, in running some train services to begin with.
The ministry of railways has invited ‘request for qualifications’ (RFQ) for private participation for operation of passenger train services over 109 origin destination (OD) pairs of routes through introduction of 151 modern trains (‘rakes’).
The 109 OD pairs have been formed into 12 clusters across the Indian Railway network, and each train shall have a minimum of 16 coaches, an official note said on Wednesday.
The project would entail private sector investment of about Rs 30,000 crore. This is the first initiative of private investment for running Passenger Trains over Indian Railways network.
Majority of Trains are going to be manufactured in India (‘Make in India’). The private entity shall be responsible for financing, procuring, operation and maintenance of the trains, the note said.
Trains shall be designed for a maximum speed of 160 kmph. There would be a substantial reduction in journey time. The running time taken by a train shall be comparable to or faster than the fastest train of Indian Railways operating in the respective route.
The objective of this initiative, the note said, is to introduce modern technology rolling stock with reduced maintenance, reduced transit time, boost job creation, provide enhanced safety, provide world class travel experience to passengers, and also reduce demand supply deficit in the passenger transportation sector.
The concession period for the project shall be 35 years. The private entity shall pay to the railways fixed haulage charges, energy charges as per actual consumption and a share in Gross Revenue determined through a transparent bidding process.
These trains will be operated by the driver and guard of Indian Railways.
The operation of the trains by the private entity will have to conform to the key performance indicators like punctuality, reliability, upkeep of trains etc. Operation and maintenance of the passenger trains would be governed by standards and specifications and requirements specified by Indian Railways.
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