new Delhi: 16 companies participated in the meeting organized before inviting applications from private companies for the operation of passenger trains on the Indian rail network. According to sources, these companies include Bombardier, Spain’s CAF, airport company GMR, Indian Railways Company Rights and PSU BHEL.
Private passenger trains will be made operational on public-private partnership basis, which will increase the revenue and employment opportunities of Indian Railways along with the introduction of new technology in the Indian rail transport sector. These 151 private trains will be in addition to those trains which are already running.
The Railway Ministry has clarified that the trains operated under the project can be bought or taken on lease by private companies. The Railway Ministry has also clarified that the parties will be given equal risk responsibility in relation to the running of trains.
30,000 crore investment expected
The Railway Ministry has said that around 16 potential applicants attended the meeting, encouraging response. Ministry of Railways has invited applications from 12 private companies for running 151 modern trains on the basis of merit for the running of passenger trains services on 109 original destination routes.
This is an initiative for private investment to run passenger trains on the Indian railway network. An investment of about Rs 30,000 crore is expected to come from the private sector through this project. It is expected that with the arrival of many operators in passenger rail operations, there will be an environment of healthy competition, which will improve services. This initiative will also help in reducing the demand and supply gap in the passenger transport sector.
Private companies will be selected for the proposed project through a two-stage competitive bidding process, including Qualification for Request (RFQ) and Proposal for Request (RFP). The issues and concerns raised by the potential applicants were discussed in the meeting and the provisions of RFQ and bidding process were clearly explained by the officials of Ministry of Railways and NITI Aayog.
The meeting also questioned the freight fares to which the Railway Ministry responded that the freight fares would be specified in advance and suitably indexed for the entire concession period, which would ensure certainty in the freight charges. Ministry of Railways will give written reply to the queries received from potential applicants by 31 July 2020. The second application pre-conference is scheduled on 12 August 2020.
(Input: with agency language)