On the lines of airports run by private players, the Indian Railways is considering private companies operating 90 train stations.
The move steered by the Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation (IRSDC) is expected to let private companies run and operate certain stations in a public-private partnership (PPP) model.
In a letter to all principal chief security commissioners of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and all zonal railways, the Railway Board sought their opinion on how the security infrastructure for the 90 stations should be set up, reports Hindustan Times.
One of the options would be to replicate the airports’ model where the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) is contracted by the operator, which pays their salaries.
Two more options that may be considered by the Security Directorate include Station Facility Management (SFM) bearing the responsibility of provision and maintenance of security infrastructure and equipment along with the cost of manpower. In the other option, this responsibility may be borne by the Railways instead.
“The airport operators not only provide and maintain the security infrastructure and equipment at the airports, but also pay for the salary and wages of the CISF personnel deployed there. Therefore, the complete cost of providing security at the airport is borne by the airport operators Therefore, the Security Directorate has to take a view on how the security infrastructure, equipment, etc will be provided and maintained at a station under SFM. We may also examine if the airport model may be replicated or otherwise,” the letter added.