Dismissing apprehension of job loss in railways due to allowing private firms to run passenger trains, the Indian Railways has said that crew (loco-pilot, driver and guard) will be provided by the Railways in private trains also.
Even in private trains under Public-Private Partnership, only train maintenance will be by the private operator but the crew (loco-pilot, driver and guard) will be provided by the Railways, said an official in the railways here.
This will ensure that there will be no job loss for railway employees, the official added.
However, services like housekeeping, catering, courtesies extended to passengers, etc., may be the responsibility of the private partner, the official said.
Since these new trains will be over and above the existing ones operated on the network by railways, there will not be any curtail of services in existing trains. Instead, the railways also plan to increase the speed of existing trains, the official said.
The railways decided to allow private players to run passengers trains on 109 select routes spreading across the country with approximately 151 trains. The private players allowed to submit financial bids by June 30.
Some of the players including GMR, IRCTC, RK Associates, PNC Infratech, IRB Infra and Medha have shown interest to operate trains.
The railways expecting that the private players introduce new-age trains comprising 16 coaches, with modern technology in the Indian rail system which would reduce journey time substantially.
While private entities have to pay the Indian Railways fixed haulage charges, energy charges as per actual consumption and a share in gross revenue determined through a transparent bidding process. The concession period for the project will be 35 years and the fare will be fixed by private players.
The project is expected to entail a private sector investment of about Rs 30,000 crores. As per the plan, the railways will rollout out private trains by March 2023.
The railways' plan to rope the private sector in operating trains is to provide quality service to passengers and create employment.