Indian Railways has decided to outsource operation and maintenance of five railway stations to firms outside state control for 15 years to improve customer experience.

The railway stations, to be outsourced under the pilot project called Integrated Station Management, are Pune, Bengaluru, Secunderabad, Anand Vihar (in New Delhi) and Chandigarh.

These five stations, along with the Habibganj railway station in Bhopal, will take the number of stations in India being privately managed to six.

According to Indian Railways, the stations will be handed over to state-run Indian Railways Station Development Corp. (IRSDC) for a makeover. IRSDC will subsequently invite bids from private firms for operation and maintenance of the stations.

Responsibility of Private Player
The firms that win the contracts will handle operations such as selling platform tickets, running station stalls, railway display network, advertising on station and its premises and parking. However, all core operations such as signaling, and movement of trains will remain with the Railways.

(Adapted from Live Mint)