Kolkata: After deciding to privatise 151 passenger trains, the Centre is planning to auction railway stations to private players after modernising the facilities, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said on Monday. Also Read - Private Trains Must Have Sliding Doors, Will Pay Railways if Trains Are Delayed or Early: Read Draft

Addressing a webinar organised by the Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), the Union railway minister said the bids for privatising the trains were “all out and well responded”. Also Read - All Regular Passenger And Suburban Train Services to Stay Suspended, Says Centre

“There are plans to modernise the railway stations. Then, those will be auctioned to private players at a later stage,” he said. Also Read - Railways to Save 10-15% Per Annum by Procuring Via GeM, Says Piyush Goyal

Work on the freight corridor project will have to be speeded up, the Union minister said adding that it got delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The entire quantum of land needed for the portion of the corridor in West Bengal is yet to be handed over by the state government to the special purpose vehicle for the project,” he said. The railway minister said metro services in Kolkata will resume if the state government approves it.

“But, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is against the resumption of flight and suburban railway services in the state. If the metro starts functioning, things will go out of hand,” he added.