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Railway Board constitutes empowered group to privatise 150 trains, develop 50 stations

The Railway Board took the step after Niti Aayog Chairman wrote to its Chairman V K Yadav proposing the formation of an empowered group to start this process.

Railway Board constitutes empowered group to privatise 150 trains, develop 50 stations

Ministry of Railways on Thursday constituted an empowered group of secretaries to formulate a blueprint to develop 50 railway stations to world-class standard and allow private companies to operate 150 trains on its network.

The Railway Board took the step after Niti Aayog Chairman wrote to its Chairman V K Yadav proposing the formation of an empowered group to start this process. “Considering the recent experience in privatization of 6 Airports a similar process for setting up an Empowered Group of Secretaries to drive the process is required,” Kant said in the letter addressed to V K Yadav.

"Ministry of Railways has decided to constitute an empowered group of secretaries for development of 50 railway stations to world-class standards and permit private passenger train operators to operate 150 trains with world-class technology over Indian Railways," stated the Railway Board order.

Besides Yadav and Kant, secretary, department of economic affairs and secretary, ministry of housing and urban affairs and financial commissioner (railways) will be part of the empowered group. Member, Engineering Railway Board and Member, Traffic Railway Board will be the co-opted members of the empowered group.

The empowered group - whose tenure will be of one year - will approve bidding process along with bid documents including RFP, RFQ and concession agreements. It group will also monitor the bidding process and take decisions to ensure the projects are awarded in a "time-bound manner".