Win-win situation for Railways, investors: NITI Aayog CEO on private trains

In a first, private entities will source and operate modern technology trains for undertaking passenger business using Indian Railways' infrastructure, Amitabh Kant, NITI Aayog CEO said while speaking on the Public-Private Partnership in passenger train operations.

"This creates a win-win situation for Indian Railways as well as investors, by tapping into the potential of huge unmet demand in the passenger business. The private sector investment we are looking at is about Rs 30,000 crores," said Kant while addressing a press briefing.

"We are looking at 109 Origin Destination pairs, divided into 12 clusters requiring 151 trains. They are being taken up for transparent competitive bidding and some most attractive routes, based on huge unmet demand, will be put out to run premium passenger services," he added.

Kant continued saying, this means that you will have quality trains, new technology and they will use railway infrastructure.

"Therefore, concessioner will be free to charge a market-linked fare to the passenger and they will be providing value-added services for food, comfort, entertainment for individualised, and enhanced passenger experience. It would be like when you had private airlines operating in Indian airspace which compelled everyone to improve. We hope this will also radically change India over a period of time," he added.

Request for quotation has already been floating and the due date for applications is October 7, 2020, Kant said.

"Very confident that it will bring in investments in India for the modern technology of Railways, from across the world. It's a paradigm shift in what the railway has been doing because it is going to rewrite the growth story of India," he added.

Speaking about the development of the railway stations, Kant said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has talked about it earlier.

"The proposed redevelopment stations we are looking at is an iconic world-class airport to give really better facilities to the passengers, user-friendly systems, technology-enabled services. Much like you have seen new airports in Delhi and Mumbai. You will see completely new stations which will drive India's growth," said Kant.

"The new stations will be well planned. The holistic development in the area will cater to long term transit and economic needs of the city. This will lead to all-time economic development. Our objective is to do around 50 railway stations by the end of next year which would mean an investment we are looking at is close to about Rs 1 lakh crores in the Indian Railways," he added.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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