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Centre should junk its plans to privatise train services: PMK

 
Chennai, Nov 20 (IANS) PMK founder S.Ramadoss on Saturday said that the Centre should scrap its attempt to privatise train services after failing to get private investors for 13 trains running within Tamil Nadu and those originating from the state.

Ramadoss said no private party had shown interest in operating express trains from Chennai to Trichy/Madurai/Tirunelvelli/Kanniyakumari/Coimbatore/Delhi/Mumbai/Kolkata/Jaipur/Hyderabad/
Bengaluru and for Kanyakumari to Ernakulam.

At the all India level, Ramadoss said, the private sector did not show interest in bidding for more than 95 per cent of the trains that were tendered out.

He said privatising passenger train services will result in an increase in fare impacting the poor.

Currently, 47 per cent of the passenger fare is cross subsidised by freight traffic and if the trains are privatised then the passenger fares will increase at least by 70 per cent if the bidder has to earn a profit.

Ramadoss said the conditions like revenue sharing by the private party with Indian Railways and only 10 per cent of the trains being privatised have deterred the private sector from showing interest.

The PMK leader said the government instead of relaxing the two conditions should scrap its plans to privatise the train services.

--IANS
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