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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: In a bid to provide world class facilities to passengers, Indian Railways has started process for modernisation and privatisation at various stations and trains. In a major development, an empowered group of secretaries (EGoS) on Thursday was formed to chalk out a road map for developing 50 railway stations with world class standards and allowing private passenger train operators to run 150 trains.

Rajesh Dutt Bajpai, Executive Director, Railway Board stated that It has always been our endeavor to provide world class facilities to our passengers. Today an empowered group of secretaries (EGOS) has been constituted.

“EGOS comprises of CEO of NITI Aayog, Chairman Railway Board, Finance Comm Railways, Urban Development, Secretary & Dept of Economic Affairs, Secretary along with 2 members of Railway board. The idea of constituting this group is to fasten development of these 50 stations & 150 trains,” said Bajpai.

A two-point term of reference has also been finalised for the empowered group committee so that the entire bidding process is approved in transparent manner. Apart from monitoring the bidding process, the group will also ensure the projects are awarded in a "time-bound manner".

Besides, the EGoS is also studying a survey conducted by the Indian Railways to fine tune the process. The survey has identified heavy traffic-laden routes which can also support higher fares and allow a sustainable operations for semi-luxury and luxury trains.

the Indian Railways will provide the technical support staff such as the driver apart from locomotives and rolling-stocks, whereas private players will manage the ticket, on-board entertainment, F&B and maintenance.

On October 4, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath flagged the country's first private semi-high speed train, Tejas Express from Lucknow to New Delhi. It runs six days a week.

The development comes after government think tank NITI Aayog asked the government to set up the EGoS.

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