Earlier this month, the Modi government decided to form a task force to draw a blueprint for handing over operations of 150 Indian Railways' trains and 50 stations to private operators in a time-bound manner.
No privatization on cards for Indian Railways! Days after the launch of India’s first private train, Lucknow-Delhi Tejas Express owned by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC)- a subsidiary of Indian Railways, Piyush Goyal has made it clear that there are no plans to privatize the national transporter. The Railway Minister recently announced that the Modi government is not looking to privatize Indian Railways. However, the government is aiming to bring in larger amount of investments into Indian Railways by looking at public-private partnerships (PPP) as well as by engaging with the best of technologies from all over the world, Goyal said according to CNBC-TV 18.
Earlier this month, the Modi government decided to form a task force to draw a blueprint for handing over operations of 150 Indian Railways’ trains and 50 stations to private operators in a time-bound manner. In a letter sent to Chairman of Railway Board VK Yadav, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant stated that an empowered group will be constituted in order to “drive the process”. Kant said while the national transporter is required to take up as many as 400 stations for development into world-class railway stations, very few stations have been upgraded by the government so far.
On October 4, IRCTC-operated Lucknow-Delhi Tejas Express was flagged off, which consists of nine chair car coaches and one executive class chair car coach with a total carrying capacity of 758 passengers. The fully air-conditioned train runs six days a week, except on Tuesdays.
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The Lucknow-Delhi Tejas Express also offers various passenger-friendly facilities and amenities like baggage pick up-drop, bio-toilets, mobile charging points, a luxury lounge, free rail travel insurance, exclusive ticket booking, nominal cancellation charges, a variety of food items, etc. The second private train by IRCTC- Ahmedabad-Mumbai Tejas Express is also likely to be launched soon.