| 3 minutes read

3 minutes read

Rajdhani And Shatabdi Express To Now Be Run By Private Sector?

| Published on June 20, 2019

While the news of LPG being considered to be open for the private sector is still to sink in, the biggest news of all times has just flown is as the Indian Railways which is controlled by the Indian government is planning to make its biggest move towards privatization.

Besides the functional work, the Indian government is also now considering handing over the operations of the Indian railways to the private sector.

Privatization Of Rajdhani, Shatabdi Express?

Last year saw Govt. think-tank Niti Aayog proposing the idea of privatisation for the Indian Railways’ via its report titled ‘New India’ and in the boldest and biggest of moves the news flowing in has been of its acceptance. 

If the latter happens, then Indian Railways will be allocating trains in some routes with less traffic and some special, seasonal tourist routes to  the private operators which also includes the prestigious Rajdhani Express and Shatabdi Express.

How Will This Start?

As per the report, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will soon be creating a special tourist route, and will be allocating two trains to run on it on an experimental basis by the private operators. 

An open tender is will be floated in the next 4 months, wherein the applicants will have to prove that they can run all operations of the trains by themselves successfully which also includes ticketing, catering services, running on schedule and others.

As per the railways officials, Employee Unions will be consulted with, before taking the final decision. 

Privatisation of Indian Railways: Progress So Far

Since Niti Aayog and other special committees that were created by Indian Railways have recommended more participation of private players in the functioning of Indian Railways, looks like they are already on it. 

As for now, tasks other than running the trains that include coach and locomotive manufacturing and repairs; ownership of locomotives, freight terminals and rolling stock have been opened for private players.

IRSDC, the nodal authority on railway station development has already outsourced major repair and restructuring of railway stations to 5 CPSEs: NPCC, Engineering Projects, MECON, RITES, Bridges & Roof Co.

Besides, companies such as Adani Group, JSW Cement, Jindal Steel and Power, Tata Steel, Rashmi Cement and Orissa Metaliks have shown interest to manufacture and maintain coaches under general purpose wagon scheme.

However, allowing private operators to run entire trains remains the biggest privatization step every taken by Indian Railways.

We will keep you updated, as more details come in.

If this proposal is accepted, and private operators are allowed to operate and run trains, then it will indeed be a big boost for the private sector.

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