Railways bill on high-speed train project

Railways bill on high-speed train project

New Delhi: Railways is finalizing draft legislation for a project that envisages running trains with the speed of 300 kms per hour speed on some selected routes across the country.

The bill is likely to be introduced in the winter session of Parliament.

“We are in the process of setting up the National High Speed Rail Authority (NHSRA), an autonomous body, to implement and monitor the high speed train project in the country and for this a legislation is required to set up the authority," said a senior railway ministry official.

According to the proposed NHSRA bill, 2011, the nine- member Authority will have a chairman and eight members. There will be four full-time members including member project, member finance, member engineering and member planning.

“Stakeholders of the high speed rail corridor project will also have four representatives as part-time members in the NHRSA," the official said.

The NHSRA is being proposed to be set up on the lines of the National Highway Authority (NHA) and it would be under the railways ministry.

The selection of chairman and members of the NHSRA would be done by the Public Enterprise Selection Board (PESB) with the approval of Appointment Committee of Cabinet.

The draft of the bill is being sent to law ministry, urban development ministry, finance ministry and planning commission for their views. “The final draft of the NHSRA would be sent to the Cabinet for its approval before introducing it in Parliament," said the official.

Railways have identified six routes to conduct feasibility study for running high speed trains. Currently railways is awarding contracts to global consultants for conducting feasibility studies of the proposed routes.

State governments and financial institutions are stakeholders of the high speed rail corridor project.