Amitabh Kant, CEO of Niti Aayog, said at a joint press conference with Railway Committee Chairman VK Yadav on Thursday (September 17) that partial privatization of the railways would be a win-win situation for both Indian railways and investors, and also the rail users, as per a media report.
These projects could potentially result in an investment of over $ 7.5 billion over the next five years, according to Indian Railways. Railways hopes to raise $ 4 billion in investment in private passenger train services.
The bidding process is expected to be complete by February 2021.
Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, stressed the need to add private operators to the Indian rail network, saying that competition could drive efficiency and lead to reduced tariffs for both the passenger and freight segments. Kant said he was happy and satisfied with the progress in renovating the stations.
“Railways, highways and airports are drivers of growth and this is the right time for these measures to counter the COVID-19 setback. We are not privatising Indian Railways. This is a public-private partnership. Private entities will source and operate trains using the Indian Railways infrastructure. This is a win-win situation for the private sector and Indian Railways. We want railways to be the major driver of India’s growth story,” he said during the presser.
The private train operator will be responsible for – Finance, design, procurement, maintenance, operation of trains, Setup or upgradation of the depot for train maintenance, etc.
While the Indian Railways will provide – Access to track and other fixed infrastructure a, Right of way, access to the depot site as well as access to the washing line, Priority at par with Indian Railways’ premium trains and Loco pilot and guards.
Indian Railways has identified 12 independent clusters with 109 origin-destination routes. On these routes, as many as 151 passenger trains are expected to be operated by private players.
12 Clusters available for investment:
- Delhi 1
- Delhi 2
- Mumbai 1
- Mumbai 2
Private investor rights include pricing, service, and operational flexibility. The investor also has the right to choose stops and the freedom to procure vehicles.