Since the private train project will be a revenue sharing arrangement with the central government, representatives of Indian Railways will be deputed in the offices of the private firms.
Indian Railways’ Private Train Project: As the national transporter is all set to introduce private trains in the coming years, Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways has worked out strict rules for private train operators. The private operators will have to pay heavy damages to Indian Railways if trains are late or even early and in order to avoid financial penalties, they must guarantee at least 95% punctuality each year, according to an IE report. Since the private train project will be a revenue sharing arrangement with the central government, representatives of Indian Railways will be deputed in the offices of the private firms.
The Indian Railways’ representatives will ascertain that they are reporting their earnings “honestly and faithfully”. According to the report, if the actual revenue is found to be more than 1% of what is reported, the private operator will have to pay 10 times the difference thereof as damages to Indian Railways. From the guaranteed 95% punctuality, for every 1% reduction in the train punctuality, private companies will have to pay extra haulage charge worth 200 km of the train operation.
For all private trains, the haulage charge is Rs 512 per km. This is the amount private trains must pay to the national transporter for use of its infrastructure as well as the physical transportation of the train. Similarly, the private firm will have to pay Indian Railways an incentive in the form of extra haulage charges for 10 km, for every train that arrives at the destination at least 10 minutes in advance. However, if a private train loses 1% punctuality in a year for reasons attributable to Indian Railways, the national transporter will pay the private firm damages equal to 50 km of haulage charges.
The private firm will also pay haulage equal to one-fourth of the total haulage payable for the journey if the train service is cancelled. And if in a year, such private train cancellations amount to more than a month, full haulage shall be paid by the company. Alternately, Indian Railways will pay the concessionaire one-fourth of the haulage as a penalty if trains are cancelled due to any fault of the national transporter.
However, a train service cannot be cancelled by a private company if the train’s delay in departure from the originating railway station due to reasons attributable to Indian Railways is within 15% of the total travel time or two hours, whichever is higher. Meanwhile, if private train services are delayed due to cattle or humans run over, bad weather, agitations and other reasons that are beyond the control of both the national transporter and the private company, no one will pay anyone any amount.