Govt to allow private train operators in India’s first bullet-train corridor

By Avishek G Dastidar

The government has decided to open up India’s first bullet-train corridor between Mumbai and Ahmedabad to private train operators paving the way for the private sector in passenger train operations for the first time in the country.

As per the decision, Indian Railways will operate the bullet train corridor for five years after it is commissioned. After that private players will run the train service — translating into managing the rolling stock, the onboard services, the fares and other charges.

The Arvind Panagariya-led Committee on Innovative Collaborations, which had approved the project, has incorporated this policy move which has subsequently been approved by the Cabinet.

Better efficiency in services and relieving the national transporter of a possibility of being saddled with a huge financial burden of running the expensive service are believed to be some of the reasons behind the move. Japan, which is funding 81 per cent of the project, also has private operators running the Shinkansen — a version of which will be rolled out in India — whereas the government owns the infrastructure. More info

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