Indian Railways has completed the process of assessing public-private partnership (PPP) applications in passenger train operation. Out of 120 applications, 102 were deemed eligible to participate in the Request for Proposals (RFP) stage. Infrastructure majors like Larsen & Toubro (L&T), GMR and BHEL are among the 102 eligible candidates qualified to bid in the first stage. This is the country’s first major initiative to attract private investment in the operation of passenger trains.
The railways had started accepting applications from October 7, 2020. The private entities to undertake the project would be selected through a transparent two-step tendering process including a competitive bidding process. offers and a call for tenders.
In July, Indian Railways announced the introduction of 151 modern trains and invited Requests for Qualifications (RFQs) for private participation in the operation of passenger trains on 12 groups covering more than 150 routes. The railways – which is one of the world’s largest employers – had sought a private investment of around Rs 30,000 crore.
Some of the main applicants who have qualified to participate in the various clusters at the RFP stage are GMR Highways, Cube Highways and Infrastructure, Indian Rail Tourism and Catering Company (IRCTC), developers of IRB infrastructures, L&T infrastructure development projects and Megha Engineering & Infrastructures. Welspun Enterprises.
Qualified applicants who will participate in the request for proposals stage are spread over 12 clusters. These location-specific clusters include Mumbai, Delhi, Chandigarh, Howrah, Chennai, Patna, Prayagraj, Jaipur, Secunderabad, and Bengaluru.
The candidates will participate in the public-private partnership tender stage in the passenger train operation project. (Also Read: L&T Buys Over 7,000 Crore Contract For High Speed Train Project)
Meanwhile, several train stations across the country are being redeveloped on the PPP model by Indian Railways PSU Indian Railways Station Development Corporation (IRSDC).
Among the first stations to be ready after the redevelopment are the Habibganj and Gandhinagar stations which will boast of airport-like facilities such as transit-oriented development, eco-friendly green buildings, separate embarkation and disembarkation platforms.
Almost 98% of civil works at Habibganj station are completed, while 93% of civil works at Gandhinagar station are completed. Gandhinagar Station is the first station that will boast a five-star station above the train tracks.