Logistics

Railways gets aggressive on public-private partnership

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on March 14, 2012

The Railways has often drawn flak for not providing enabling ambience to stations and freight terminals.

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Existing schemes to be reviewed to give greater control to users: Trivedi





Funds-starved Railways has got aggressive on public-private partnership (PPP) model for last mile connectivity.

Learning from its past experience on PPP, the Railways proposes to provide greater control to the rail-user by making them a stakeholder. A step in this direction is a proposal to include a member PPP/Marketing in the Railway Board besides a member safety/research.

Acknowledging that the past results of PPP efforts have not been encouraging, the Railway Minister, Mr Dinesh Trivedi, said he got the existing marketing schemes “reviewed thoroughly to give them greater market focus, provide greater control to the rail-user by making him a stakeholder and to engage him in the planning process for tailoring a total logistics solution.”

In his speech, he said, “In the light of limitations of funding support from the Government and constraints in regard to internal generation and market borrowing, the 12{+t}{+h} Plan projections of Indian Railways seek to rely on PPP route in a significant manner.” This was in line with the Approach Paper of the Planning Commission.

The existing schemes for Wagons Leasing, Sidings, Private Freight Terminals and Container Train Operations, rail-connectivity projects (R3-i and R2C-i) are being made more attractive to PPP partners.

MAKEOVER

The Railways has often drawn flak for not providing enabling ambience to stations and freight terminals, which is its own business. “As normal doses of incremental improvement and maintenance will not be able to refurbish the external look and ambience at the stations, I have set up a separate organisation namely Indian Railway Station Development Corporation, which will redevelop the stations and maintain them on the pattern of airports,” the minister said.

This special purpose vehicle will draw upon the success stories from world over, adopt a suitable revenue model and target redevelopment of 100 stations in the next five years. Being funded through PPP route, these efforts will be cost neutral for Indian Railways. It has been estimated that development of major stations in metro cities has the potential to create employment for about 50,000 persons.

Similarly, to undertake upgradation of goods sheds as also to cooperate with State Governments, Railways is going for the PPP model. Besides, Coal, Power, Shipping and Steel Ministries were approached for identification of appropriate rail connectivity projects. A total of 17 such projects have been sanctioned and another 28 projects have been identified. These also will be implemented through the PPP route.

State Governments have come forward to share cost of some more projects in their States, the Minister said. Those include governments of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Maharashtra. These projects will be given special attention and processed on priority for obtaining requisite clearances.

> richam@thehindu.co.in

Published on March 14, 2012

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