Private train ops: 102 applications eligible to participate in financial bidding stage1 min read . Updated: 19 Nov 2020, 09:33 PM IST
- The private entities will be selected through a two-stage competitive bidding process--request for qualification (RFQ) and request for proposal (RFP)
- In a first, Indian Railways is gearing up to run 151 high-speed, modern passenger trains across via public-private partnership
NEW DELHI : As many 102 out of 120 applications are eligible to participate in the financial bidding stage of the Indian Railways' ambitious attempt to rope in private companies to run passenger trains across the country.
The project saw interest from around 16 companies including top infrastructure companies, hoteliers and real estate companies such as Cube Highways and Infrastructure, Gateway Rail Freight, GMR Highways Limited, Omaxe, L&T Infrastructure Development Projects, R. K. Associates & Hoteliers among others. Railway ministry termed the response as ‘excellent’.
“MoR (ministry of railways) has completed the evaluation of Applications. Out of 120 applications, 102 applications are found eligible to participate in the RFP stage. The RFP documents will be made available to the qualified applicants very soon," railway ministry said in a statement.
The private entities will be selected through a two-stage competitive bidding process--request for qualification (RFQ) and request for proposal (RFP). RFQ is for pre-qualification and shortlisting bidders based on their technical and financial capacity. The bidders will have to offer a fixed-price bid at the RFP stage to undertake the project.
Experts said now that some entities have, the next few months will be crucial as these companies will now have to satisfy the tender conditions as well as shortlist potential partner that would take charge of the locomotives, operate trains and offer food and ticketing services.
“The bidding has progressed to the next stage, some of the bidders had bid for all clusters, further pruning based on due diligence is expected to happen. This is a complex bidding process and bidders will have to look at the traffic, technical and operation and maintenance aspects for arriving at the financial bid. We can also expect product and service innovation, bidders with economies of scale and access to rolling stocks will have a distinct advantage," Jagannarayan Padmanabhan, Director & Practice Lead, Transport & Logistics at CRISIL Infrastructure Advisory said.
In a first, Indian Railways is gearing up to run 151 high-speed, modern passenger trains across via public-private partnership. These train services will start operations in April 2023. The project would entail private sector investment of about ₹30,000 crore.