Centre has no plans to privatise Railways: Goyal

Commercial and on-board services will be outsourced

November 23, 2019 05:49 am | Updated 05:49 am IST - NEW DELHI

Plush ride:  The Railway Minister said private players will be allowed to induct modern coaches.

Plush ride: The Railway Minister said private players will be allowed to induct modern coaches.

The government does not plan to privatise the Railways, but will outsource the commercial and on-board services of a few trains to improve service delivery, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal informed Parliament.

Answering a question whether the government had planned to privatise railway operations in phases, including platform maintenance, he said, “No, sir. There is no proposal to privatise the operations.” But there was a proposal to outsource the commercial and on-board services of a few trains and to permit private players to induct modern rakes to run trains on select routes so as to improve services, he said.

“The responsibility of train operations and safety certification rests with the Railways,” Mr. Goyal said, adding, that outsourcing of certain services — such as station cleaning, pay and use toilets, retiring rooms, parking and platforms maintenance — was being done based on needs to improve cleanliness.

The Ministry constituted an empowered group of secretaries in October to work out a road map for the development of 50 stations and handing over the operation of 150 trains to private operators.

The move followed NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant’s letter to Railway Board Chairman V.K. Yadav recommended that a committee be set up to “drive the process in a time-bound manner”.

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