Government begins process of privatising operations of 150 trains and 50 railway stations: Report

In a bid to provide better amenities and services to passengers, the Narendra Modi-led government has begun the process of privatising trains and railway stations.

According to CNBC, the government has already begun the process of privatising operations of 150 trains and 50 railway stations. Niti Aayog chief executive officer Amitabh Kant wrote a letter to Railway Board chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav, in which he said, “As you are already aware that the ministry of railways has also decided to bring in private train operators for passenger train operations and is contemplating to take up 150 trains in the first phase."

Amitabh Kant told CNBC, he had a detailed discussion with railway minister and it was felt that there is a necessity to take up matter of privatising 50 railway stations on priority. For effective implementation of these projects, Member, Engineering Railway Board and Member, Traffic Railway Board must be involved in the empowered group, he further added.

To finish these projects in a time-bound manner, an empowered Group of Secretaries comprising of CEO of NITI Aayog; Chairman Railway Board; Secretary, department of economic Affairs; Secretary, ministry of housing and urban affairs may be constituted, reported CNBC.

Earlier, the Ministry of Railways had mulled to rope in private operators through ticketing arm Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), to run the trains, marking the first step towards privatising operations of the world's fourth largest rail network.

The Railway Ministry, in its 100-day plan, had proposed to bring in private train operators on key routes. The 100-day plan also proposed that private operators will run trains on inter-city services on 14 routes, while 10 on overnight and long distance routes, and four suburban routes.