PRIVATE TRAINS IN INDIA


The government has surveyed 109 busy routes across India to run 151 private trains for 35 years. The plan was announced earlier this summer by the ministry of railways. It was supposed to be started in March but got delayed due to covid-19. Despite the delays caused by covid-19, summer 2020 marked the beginning of a new era for Indian Railways, which expects to attract investment of at least Rs 30,000 crores from private companies. The move is expected to earn Indian Railways a fee for electricity and lending its infrastructure, as well as a share of total future revenue. In return, the state-run operator is pledging to provide "non-discriminatory access" to private trains, and therefore avoid unfairly favoring its trains. India's first private train is Lucknow-New Delhi Tejas Express, which was inaugurated in October 2019. Tejas Express currently hired several women to do the services. So, it is a good opportunity for women planning to start their careers. However, political and industry commentators are currently debating the potential ramifications of inviting private companies to India, with some calling for a reform of the network and others warning this could be the first step towards the complete privatization of the railways.
Let us see how this decision will affect us in two different manners-

BENEFITS

  • It will give priority to the welfare of the citizens over providing world-class facilities for them.
  • These trains will be providing better facilities and more safety. Moreover, these trains will be overcoming the problem of hygiene.
  • At present, the demand for tickets is more than supply. Many times people are forced to wait even with no certainty of the confirmation of seat. With private trains, Supply can meet the demand.
  • The government of India said that these trains will be manufactured in India under the 'make in India' program. If that happens, It will create many jobs and will uplift the economy, which is desperately needed in the present time because of job losses due to pandemics.
  • This will also end the monopoly of Indian Railways. Private players will instill a competitive spirit.


DRAWBACKS

  • It will create inequality between rich and poor. Indian Railways clarified that the fares in private trains will be in the range of flight tickets.
  • Private trains may not provide employment opportunities as many as government trains provide.
  • Even though it is said that private trains constitute only 5% for now, there is no guarantee that it won't be increased. If it will increase in the upcoming years, Indian Railways can suffer like BSNL and Air India, which were pushed to bankruptcy due to the competition from private players.