Finally, private players have been invited to venture into railways arena. After discussing about it at length, the ministry of railways has finally given Western Railway the green signal to invite private players to operate local trains in Mumbai.
Private sector has stepped in to a vast arena from municipal services – to the sweeping of streets and garbage collection, healthcare, water, power and even fire stations. But the most important of all is to run a service that forms the very spine of life in a metro like Mumbai.
The air conditioned train, on the 32-km Churchgate-Borivli section will run in partnership with several companies, who will own, maintain and operate it.
Unmanageable ‘super dense crush crowd’ in the suburban section is one of the issues that propelled the railways to venture into public-private partnership. Had the railways done it all alone, it would have to invest high capital expenditure on maintenance and also offer subsidised tickets. With a private player in, offers the option to price tickets at market rates, appoint additional staff to check ticketless travel and bear maintenance expenses by entering into a long-term contract with the railways.
Not a bad idea at all!