In a first, the Indian Railways has been reported to have decided to privatise the operations of the Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express, indicating that the Piyush Goyal led Railways Ministry is going ahead with its 100-day agenda of handing over operations to two of its trains to the private sector, reports Livemint.
It has also been reported that the railway Board is also deliberating on a second such route, which too would be within the 500-km distance range. It should be noted that the Delhi-lucknow Tejas Express was announced in the year 2016, but was introduced only in the new time table released on 1 July 2019.
The Tejas train, presently parked at the Anandnagar station of the Indian Railways in Uttar Pradesh, will be handed over to the private players after an open bidding process for operationalisation.
However, the custody of the trains will be transferred to the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), which will pay for it, including their lease charges to the financing arm of the Indian Railways, IRFC. The IRCTC has been given time till 10 July to finalise a proposal and submit it to the Railway Board.
Meanwhile, the proposal has also received opposition and flak from railway employee unions who have threatened large scale protests over the issue.
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