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15 firms applied for private participation in the operation of passenger train services across 12 clusters: Railway Ministry

15 firms applied for private participation in the operation of passenger train services across 12 clusters: Railway Ministry
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15 firms applied for private participation in the operation of passenger train services across 12 clusters: Railway Ministry

Highlights

15 firms including L&T Infrastructure Development Projects Limited, IRCTC, BHEL, GMR Highways and Gateway Rail freight Limited have applied for the private participation in the operation of passenger train services across 12 clusters in the country.

15 firms including L&T Infrastructure Development Projects Limited, IRCTC, BHEL, GMR Highways and Gateway Rail freight Limited have applied for the private participation in the operation of passenger train services across 12 clusters in the country.

In a media statement released today, Railway Ministry has said that overall 120 applications have been received for the 12 Clusters, from 15 applicant firms. The Ministry had invited Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for private participation in the operation of passenger train services over 12 clusters.

These clusters comprise of 140 origin-destination pair of routes on which 151 modern trains will be introduced to increase high-quality trains operated on the network. This is the first major initiative of attracting private investment for running passenger trains over the Indian Railway network. The project is expected to entail private sector investment of about Rs 30,000 crore.

The Railways further said that the private entities for undertaking the project would be selected through a transparent two-stage competitive bidding process comprising of Request for Qualification (RFQ) and Request for Proposal (RFP). It has also set a target to award all the clusters by February 2021.

The private entities that will operate these trains will have the freedom to decide the fare to be charged from passengers and no upper limit has been set for fares. The ministry also clarified that the risks concerning the operation of these trains shall be allocated to the parties best suited to manage them.

Private trains are being introduced to reduce the demand-supply gap in passenger travel. These are expected to be operational in a staggered manner from April 2023 and procurement will be done under the 'Make in India' policy.

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