Indian Railways has completed the request for qualifications (RFQ) evaluations for public-private partnership (PPP) in passenger train operations, and out of 120 applications,102 have been found eligible to participate in the Request for Proposal (RFP) stage. Infrastructure-sector leaders such as Larsen & Toubro (L&T), GMR, BHEL are among the 102 eligible applicants qualified to bid in the first stage. Indian Railways had invited RFQ for private participation in the operation of passenger train services over 12 clusters comprising more than 150 origin-destination pair of routes through the introduction of 151 modern trains.
This is the first major initiative of attracting private investment for operating passenger trains, through private sector investment of about Rs 30,000 crore. The applications were opened on October 7, 2020. The private entities for undertaking the project would be selected through a transparent two-stage competitive bidding process comprising of RFQ and RFP.
Some of the leading applicants which have qualified for participating in the various clusters in the RFP stage are GMR Highways, Cube Highways and Infrastructure, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), IRB Infrastructure Developers, L&T Infrastructure Development Projects, Megha Engineering & Infrastructures Welspun Enterprises. (Also Read: L&T Bags Over ₹ 7,000-Crore Contract For Bullet Train Project )
The qualified applicants who will participate in the RFP stage are spread through 12 clusters. These clusters are location-specific and include Mumbai, Delhi, Chandigarh, Howrah, Chennai, Patna, Prayagraj, Jaipur, Secunderabad, and Bengaluru. The applications will participate in the RFP stage of public-private partnership in the passenger train operations project.
Meanwhile, several railway stations across the country are being redeveloped on the PPP model by Indian Railways PSU Indian Railways Station Development Corporation (IRSDC). Among the first stations to be ready post-redevelopment are the Habibganj and Gandhinagar stations which will boast of airport-like facilities such as transit-oriented development, environment-friendly green building, separate boarding and deboarding platforms.
Almost 98 per cent civil work for the Habibganj station is completed, while 93 per cent civil work for the Gandhinagar station is fulfilled. The Gandhinagar station is the first station which will boast of a five-star railway station above railway tracks.