NEW DELHI: Successful bidders will be allowed to import only a maximum of three trains for operation on rail tracks under the railway ministry’s scheme to allow private operation of passenger trains, according to the
draft contract agreement
floated by the government.
The remaining trains under the project would have to be either procured from the manufacturing facilities in India or manufactured from its own manufacturing facilities in India. They can also take trains on lease from train manufacturers in India.
The ministry said the minimum local content in the trains beyond the maximum import of three trains shall be 50% duly complying with the Make in India provisions.
Sources said this will open a window for players such as
and Alstom to supply high quality trains, which may have a premium fare for comfortable ride. They added this could be one of the reasons why major private train manufacturers are keen to bid for operating the trains on the first 106 routes. “They will get good business only if the experiment succeeds. They have expertise to meet the requirement of RDSO,
railways standards regulator
, so far as trains are concerned,” said a source.
The draft model concession agreement has a provision for bidders to sign agreement with agencies that have adequate experience in operation and maintenance of trains and this will come handy for technology players.
As per the draft document, the concessionaire will have the full freedom to fix the fare and can even suggest to railways to allow the intermediate halts on the route on which to get more passengers. But the number of such halts shall not be more than the number of existing halts of the fastest train operated railways on that route.
To encourage efficiency, the rail ministry has also proposed that in the event of reduction in running time or due to efficient maintenance practices, if a train becomes available for operations for more than eight hours, the concessionaire can submit its proposal for extension of the existing train service.