- Process for entry of private trains in Indian Railways has been initiated.
- This initiative will aim at providing enhanced security, fast service and modern technology.
- The government has invited private companies to take part in Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for operation of passenger trains on over 100 routes with 150 modern trains.
- The Ministry of Railways said this initiative will attract investments of about ?30,000 crore.
The Private Trains
- The private trains will run from 109 Origin Destinations.
- There will be 151 trains between these tracks.
- Each Train shall have a minimum of 16 coaches.
- The trains will be designed for a maximum speed of 160 kmph.
- The objective of the initiative is to introduce modern technology and reduced maintenance & transit time.
Tejas Express: The First Private Train
- The Delhi-Lucknow Tejas is the first private train that is not operated by the Indian Railways.
- Tejas Express is run by IRCTC(Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) which is a public sector undertaking.
- IRCTC has also run the Tejas Express between Mumbai and Ahmedabad and the Kashi Mahakal Express (between Varanasi and Indore).
- The trains will be totally made in India and the private firms will bear the expenditure of their manufacturing and maintenance.
- The initiative will reduce the journey time on all the tracks.
- The journey time will be comparable to or faster than the fastest train of Indian Railways.
- The “Concession Period” for the project will be 35 years, and the private entity will pay to Indian Railways fixed haulage charges, energy charges as per actual consumption, and a share in gross revenue determined through a transparent bidding process.
- These private trains will be run by drivers and guards of the Indian Railways.
The Branding Booster
- The traffic earnings have dropped by a whopping 58% in the pandemic.
- The Indian Railways has decided to allow sponsorship of trains and stations.
- The NGOs will also be allowed to adopt stations for cleaning activity to curb the expenditure burden.
- The cost of platform tickets may also be increased to manage the rush on the stations.
- Anti-littering rules may be intensified to keep the message clear that platforms are not to litter.
2. ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar
- Shashank Manohar, the Chairman of International Cricket Council (ICC) has put the papers officially.
- Mr. Manohar remained the head of the Council for four years.
- For now Singapore’s Imran Khwaja will take the charges as interim chairman until the next appointment.
- Mr. Khwaja has been Manohar’s deputy previously and has best understanding of the organization.
Quick Elections coming
- With Mr. Manohar gone and Mr. Khwaja promoted as an interim Chairman, the board is preparing quick elections.
- The board will approve election procedure within the next week.
- Manohar, who made a surprising return as BCCI president in 2015 following Jagmohan Dalmiya’s demise, resigned from the BCCI and took over as the first independent chairman of the ICC in 2016.
Left a better ICC
- There is no doubt that cricket owes Shashank a debt of gratitude for all he has done for the sport,” said Khwaja.
- “He has left cricket and the ICC in a better place than he found it.”