Secunderabad, Nov 21 (IANS): Nine private companies have cleared the first stage, Request for Qualification (RFQ), of Indian Railways' two-stage competitive bidding procedure in their endeavour to run trains in the Secunderabad cluster under public-private partnership (PPP).
The nine companies include Cube Highways and Infrastructure III, a consortium of Gateway Rail Freight Ltd and Gateway Distriparks Ltd, GMR Highways Ltd, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC) and IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd.
Others include L & T Infrastructure Development Projects Ltd, a consortium of Malempati Power Private Ltd and Techno Infra Developers Pvt Ltd, Megha Engineering & Infrastructures and Welspun Enterprises Ltd.
"The private entities for undertaking the project would be selected through a transparent two-stage competitive bidding process comprising Request for Qualification (RFQ) and Request for Proposal (RFP)," said a South Central Railway (SCR) zone official.
The Ministry of Railways invited RFQs from private companies to operate passenger train services in 12 clusters, entailing the operation of more than 150 origin-destination pairs of routes with the introduction of 151 modern trains.
"This is the first major initiative of attracting private investment for running passenger trains over the Indian railway network. The Project would entail private sector investment of about Rs 30,000 crore," said the official.
Following the RFQs evaluation, as many as 102 of the 120 applicants have made the cut to submit RFPs.