Rahul Gandhi criticised the move saying the government is taking away the lifeline of the poor from them through the privatisation of trains.
NEW DELHI – In a first of its kind move in the direction of privatization of Indian Railways, the Narendr Modi government, on Wednesday, invited private companies to run passenger trains over 109 Origin of Destination (OD) pairs of routes.
“Ministry of Railways has invited Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for private participation for operation of passenger train services over 109 Origin Destination (OD) pairs of routes through introduction of 151 modern Trains (Rakes),” a Railways Ministry statement said adding that the 109 OD pairs will have 12 clusters and each train will have 12 coaches.
The private company, which will take up this project, will have to make an investment of about Rs 30,000 crore.
“Majority of Trains will be manufactured in India under Make in India scheme. The private entity shall be responsible for financing, procuring, operation and maintenance of the trains,” said the government.
The government claimed that the privatisation of the railway services are being done with an aim to introduce modern technology, boost job creation, provide enhanced safety and reduce the demand and supply deficit. However, these trains will be operated by the driver and guard of Indian Railways.
This move of the government has come under severe criticism as it will affect the life of the poor. Former Congress president, Rahul Gandhi, said the government is taking the lifeline of the poor through the privatisation.
“Rail is the only lifeline of the poor and the government is taking it away from them. Snatch whatever you want to. But remember the people of the country will give a befitting reply,” Rahul said in a tweet in Hindi attaching a news report.
रेल ग़रीबों की एकमात्र जीवनरेखा है और सरकार उनसे ये भी छीन रही है।
जो छीनना है, छीनिये। लेकिन याद रहे- देश की जनता इसका करारा जवाब देगी।https://t.co/M6OQZ6xAz5
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 2, 2020