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Ministry of Railways on Tuesday has organized the first pre-application Conference on Private Train Project. The conference received an overwhelming response with the participation of around 16 prospective Applicants.
Bombardier, CAF, Vedanta, GMR Group, Bharat Forge, Sterlite Power and RITES are among 16 companies that took part in the first pre-application conference for running private trains in India.
Railway Board has invited 12 Request for Qualifications (RFQs) for private participation in the operation of passenger train services over 109 Origin Destination pair of routes through the introduction of 151 modern Trains which shall be in addition to the existing trains operated on the network.
This is the first initiative of private investment for running Passenger Trains over the Indian Railway Network. The project would entail a private sector investment of about Rs 30,000 crore.
The initiative is towards improving the availability of transportation services to the people of this Nation, introduce modern technology rolling stock and services that would improve the overall travel experience of passengers. Multiple operators in train operations will create competition and improve service delivery. This initiative is also intended at reducing demand-supply deficit in the passenger transportation sector.
The private entities for undertaking the projected will be selected through a two-stage competitive bidding process comprising of Request for Qualification (RFQ) and Request for Proposal (RFP).
“As part of the Biding Process, the Ministry of Railways has conducted the first pre-Application Conference on July 21, 2020, which has received an Indian Railways receives an overwhelming response for private train project response with the participation of around 16 prospective Applicants. The issues and concerns raised by the prospective Applicants were discussed and clarifications were provided by the officials of the Ministry of Railways and NITI Aayog for improved clarity on the provisions of RFQ and bidding framework. The queries were mainly related to eligibility criteria, bid process, procurement of rakes, operations of trains, and composition of clusters,” said in an official release.
There were queries on haulage charges for which the Ministry of Railways has replied that haulage charges will be specified upfront and will be suitably indexed for the entire concession period thereby bringing certainty in the haulage charges.
Ministry of Railways will also be providing the details of passenger traffic being handled on the routes under biding. This will enable bidders to undertake their due diligence in the project
Ministry of Railways has clarified that trains operated under the project can be either purchased or taken on lease by the private entities. Ministry of Railways has also clarified that risks with regard to the operation of trains shall be allocated to the parties in an equitable manner.
Ministry of Railways will be providing written replies to the queries received from the prospective Applicants by July 31, 2020. The second pre-application conference is scheduled on 12 Aug 2020.
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