industry

Private trains to bridge demand-supply gap: Railway Board chairman VK Yadav


NEW DELHI: Allowing private companies to run passenger trains is a step towards bridging the demand-supply gap in Indian Railways’ operations, Railway Board chairman VK Yadav said Thursday.

About 150 private trains are expected to be operational from April 2023 and procurement will be done strictly under the ‘Make in India’ policy. The railway ministry kickstarted its plan to allow private companies to run 151 trains on 109 routes by inviting bids on Wednesday.

“We should be able to provide trains on demand for each passenger. We have been working in that direction. Keeping that in view, we have gone for this project,” Yadav said in an online interaction with reporters on Thursday.

More than 50 million passengers were waitlisted for train travel in the previous financial year, Yadav said, indicating the existing gap, which is expected to widen.

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The government estimates 13 billion passengers will travel by train in FY30 compared with 8.4 billion passengers in FY20, Yadav said.

“We want to fully meet our passenger forecast. Even after introducing 150 private trains, we will still have the need to introduce more trains,” Yadav said. However, Yadav did not clarify if the ministry planned to bar Chinese companies from participating in what will be an international competitive bidding process.





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