A few days ago, Indian Railways had said that this time private companies would also be allowed to run trains on special routes. There are 23 companies willing to run trains on more than 100 railway routes. Among them are big names including IRCTC, Titagarh Wagon, Bombardier Transportation, Siemens Limited, Alstorm.
On Wednesday, a pre-bidding meeting was held with all these interested companies. There, the private sector raised various doubts. These are basically the cluster waist, what will be the auction process, what will be the conditions for getting this contract, where will the train be available, how much will be the fare, who will be in charge of maintenance and operations, etc.
Private companies will be given full rights to set their own rent. They can also buy or lease trains, officials from the policy commission and the railway ministry told the meeting. The 23 companies that have expressed interest in running the train are-
Medha Group, ALSTOM Transport India Ltd, BEML Limited, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Bharat Forge, IRCTC Ltd, Bombardier Transportation India, CAF India Pvt. Ltd, Gateway Rail, GMR Infrastructure Ltd, Hind Rectifiers Limited, Iboard India Private Limited, ISQ ASIA Infrastructure investments PTE.LTD, Jasan Infra Private Limited, JKB Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, L&T Infrastructure Development Projects Ltd (L&T IDPL), Megha Engineering & Infrastructures Limited (MEIL), National Investment and Infrastructure Fund, PSGG Technologies Pvt Ltd, R.K Associates & Hoteliers Pvt.Ltd, Siemens Limited, Sterlite Power & Titagragh Wagons Limited.
Rail said that who will handle the operation of the train will be decided on the basis of who will be able to run it properly. The price will be let to fix on its own, this is assured. Indian Railways has started the process of privatization from June 1. Private companies will run trains on 151 lines.
Railways will select the qualified company through a two step process. This service will start from 2023-24 and private trains will run on all 151 routes by 2027. Which company will be quoted will be decided in April next year. The first 12 trains will start in two years.
Indian Railways wants to run private trains in a total of 12 clusters. These include big stations including Delhi, Mumbai, Howrah. It is expected that the railways will earn about Rs 30,000 crore. Most of the racks will be made in India. The train will run at a speed of 160 km per hour, each room will have CCTV, sophisticated features including Braille markings.