There is no proposal to privatise Indian Railways, Lok Sabha was informed on Wednesday.
The response of the Railway to a question on privatisation came against the backdrop of a proposal of the national transporter to give two trains to private operators.
In a written reply, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said “no specific passenger train has been identified to be run by private payers so far.”
However, sources have said that Railways have identified New Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express, but no official announcement has been made.
Responding to a supplementary, Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi said further studies on the issue are on and trials will be held in the coming days.
In his written response, Mr Goyal said, “…there is no proposal to privatise Indian Railways”.
He was asked whether he is aware that a report submitted to the United Nations General Assembly in September 2018 had highlighted challenges presented by largescale privatisation to protection of human rights.
In a separate written reply, Goyal said that as on April 1 this year, there were 189 new lines projects totalling 21,443 kilometres in various stages of planning/ approval/ execution, which will connect areas not covered so far under railway network.
“Launching of new railway projects to cater to the increasing passenger footfall and to connect areas not covered so far under railway network is a need-based ongoing process subject to commercial justification, operational requirement, technical feasibility and resource availability,” he said.