Railways re-evaluate bidding process for private passenger trains
The railways are reassessing the ongoing tendering process for the ??30,000 crore in private passenger trains after it received no interest from private players in its tender launched last year to operate such trains in 12 groups, confirmed on Wednesday senior officials.
Of the 12 clusters offered for auction, only three saw an offer, they said.
âThe entire tendering process for the operation of private passenger trains is being re-evaluated. Offers in the current process may or may not be abandoned once the review is complete,â an official said.
It was in July last year that the Ministry of Railways launched calls for tenders for private participation in the operation of passenger trains in twelve clusters across the country. The plan included 109 origin-destination pairs. Successful bidders were to be granted a 35-year concession period based on a revenue model.
During the call for qualification (DQ) last year, 16 companies from the private sector expressed their interest in the project. GMR Highways Ltd, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC), IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd, Cube Highways and Infrastructure III Pte. Ltd and CAF India Private Ltd were some of the major companies that expressed interest in the project.
This number decreased considerably during the tender stage (financial tender) which took place recently, with only two bidders. The bids were submitted by IRCTC and Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Ltd for three clusters, while all other bidders withdrew, citing concession rules favoring Indian railways, sources said.
Officials said the lack of a regulatory body, the payment of transportation costs in addition to revenue sharing, and restrictions on route flexibility are among the likely reasons that kept bidders out of bidders. ambitious railway plans.
In July of last year, Indian Railways planned to introduce private trains to its network in phases, with the first dozen scheduled to start operating in fiscal year 2023-24 and the 151 by 2027. According to projections by the Ministry of Railways, the carrier was supposed to select the companies that will operate the private trains by April 2021; the first 12 are expected to start circulating by 2023-24, followed by 45 more in 2024-25, the next 50 in 2025-26 and the last 44 by 2026-27.
Now, the sources said the ministry has returned to the drawing board to plan the terms of the entire program from scratch.
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