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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

Railways mulls over plan to run 50 routes for private players

The plan, for the first time, includes suburban rail in Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Secunderabad.

india Updated: Sep 28, 2019 09:55 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
A meeting was held on Friday by the Railway Board and Chief Operating managers of zonal railways to discuss Centre’s plans of plying Indian Railways’ trains through private operators.
A meeting was held on Friday by the Railway Board and Chief Operating managers of zonal railways to discuss Centre’s plans of plying Indian Railways’ trains through private operators.(Reuters photo)
         

Indian railways’ plans of privatization of its routes in a bid to increase its revenue may include 50 origin destination routes.

A meeting was held on Friday by the Railway Board—the apex body under ministry of railways, and Chief Operating managers of zonal railways to discuss Centre’s plans of plying Indian Railways’ trains through private operators.

“It was deliberated that modern passenger trains would be introduced by private operators who would be selected through a transparent Request For Quotation (RFQ) and Request for Proposal (RFP) process. These trains would be operated on paths allocated to them on payment of applicable charges. For this purpose, 50 origin destinations/routes were provisionally discussed,” a spokesperson for the ministry said.

As Hindustan Times has reported earlier, some of the proposed routes for long distance travel include Delhi Mumbai, Delhi-Lucknow, Delhi-Jammu/Katra, Delhi-Howrah, Secunderabad-Hyderabad, Secunderabad-Delhi, Delhi-Chennai, Mumbai-Chennai, Howrah-Chennai and Howrah-Mumbai.

The plan, for the first time, includes suburban rail in Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Secunderabad. According to a senior ministry official, the centre plans to run 150 trains through this mode.

“Zonal railways will also examine the feasibility of introducing additional and new trains keeping in view the infrastructurual projects and capacity enhancement works which are underway and those which are in the pipeline,” the spokesperson said.

The necessity to develop coaching terminals that commensurate with line capacity enhancement to meet the requirements before introducing additional trains was also noted in the meeting.

Hindustan Times on September 9 had reported that the plan is part of the ministry’s 100 days action plan approved in June.

At present, the railways has decided to hand over two rakes to the IRCTC to operate. It will open more rakes to private operators over the next few years through an open bidding process. The national carrier in June had also given approval to its subsidiary, Indian Railway Catering, and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), for running the Tejas Express between Delhi- Lucknow and Ahmedabad-Mumbai on a pilot basis. The train is scheduled to be flagged off on October 4 from Lucknow to Delhi.

The national carrier also plans to set up dedicated passengers trains’ corridor equipped to run trains at 160 KMPH for private operators. The ministry is working on the speed enhancement of the Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Howrah corridor to 160 kmph in the next four years where the idea is to introduce private trains on open bidding bases.

First Published: Sep 28, 2019 09:55 IST

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