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Role of private sector to build railway network critical:Batra

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 17 (UNI) The Indian Railways is keen to forge partnerships with various stakeholders to build its network and capacities, including passenger services, carrying freight and providing connectivity to different parts of the country, Railway Board Chairman J P Batra said today.

''An investment of Rs 50,000 crore is needed to carry out various projects which the Indian Railways has in its inventory, but only Rs 9,000 crore is available as budgetary support,'' Mr Batra said at a National Conference on 'Public Private participation organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here, adding ''the role of the private sector, therefore, is of critical importance.'' He said the overall positive economic sentiment along with the strong GDP growth outlook, infact, posed a challenge to the Indian railways to keep pace. Private sector participation would provide a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Mr Batra declared that the Railway Ministry had announced the introduction of double stack container trains, the first of which would be introduced from March 23.

He further announced that 14 private players had been granted a no-objection certificate (NOC), to operate private freight trains, as per the new policy of the Indian Railways. ''This would rake in a revenue of 2,000 crore in the next two years; enabling Railways to concentrate further on providing core services,'' he said.

The Chairman announced that the Railways were discussing joint-ventures with the state Governments of Jharkhand, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Haryana and Karnataka, for investments in new line capacity.

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