Railways have undertaken more than 20 projects worth Rs 14,000 crore during the 12th five year plan, including those for laying new lines, doubling the existing ones, enhancing port connectivity and electrifying its network under PPP model.
While seven PPP projects worth Rs 5,693 crore are under implementation as part of joint venture model, as many others involving an expenditure of Rs 2,236 crore are being implemented under customer funded model, official sources said. Three PPP projects worth Rs 3,016 crore are being executed through the annuity route and in-principle approval has been accorded to six others worth Rs 3,078 crore.
Faced with resource crunch for its mega investment plans, the public transporter is exploring various channels for raising funds. “We are exploring the PPP models and joint ventures with state governments in a big way for funding infrastructure development,” said a senior Railway Ministry official.
Indian Railway has proposed Rs 8.56 lakh crore investment plan for the next five years and the national transporter expects to execute a sizable chunk of projects through Public-Private Partnership and in collaboration with states. There are about 16 state governments which have given their in-principle approval for the formation of special purpose vehicles (SPVs) to implement rail projects in their respective states, said the official.
Recently Odisha signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Railways to form a SPV for implementation of rail projects in the state.
In order to attract private investment, railways have strengthened the PPP framework besides launching investor-friendly build, operate and transfer (BOT) annuity model to construct new tracks. According to the official, the participatory policy for rail connectivity was launched in 2012 which has five models including non-government railway model, joint venture model, build operate and transfer model, capacity augmentation with funding provided by customers model and capacity augmentation through annuity model.
During 2002 and 2014, eight port connectivity projects worth about Rs 3,153 crore were implemented. These covered the linking of Mundra Port and Pipavav-Surendranagar, Hassan- Mangalore, Gandhidham-Palanpur and Bharauch-Dahej gauge conversion projects. These projects have added about 1030 km of rail lines, the official said.
Besides, railways have offered 400 stations to be redeveloped with private participation for improving passenger amenities inviting open bids from interested parties.