New Delhi: The Indian railways has welcomed bids from private entities to operate 150 pairs of passenger trains through the public-private partnership (PPP) mode for the first time, a news report said this on Tuesday. It further added that the private players shall have the liberty to decide passenger fares on these trains.

However, the national transporter has called them “misleading media reports”, while clarifying that no such proposal is under consideration and neither have any bids been invited recently.

“Therefore, such reports are factually incorrect and stakeholders should not take cognizance of it,” the Ministry of Railways said in a statement on Tuesday evening.

The news report in question claimed that the arrangement of running passenger trains through the PPP mode is expected to fetch the railways around Rs 30,000 crore in revenue from the private sector.

It further added that these trains will be part of 12 clusters across the railway network. Each of these trains shall have a minimum length of 384 m, which is equivalent to 16 coaches.

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Train ticket booking for children rule

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Railways last month junked news reports claiming that changes have been made to rules for booking train tickets for children. Some media reports had claimed that the national transporter has changed the rule with regards to booking tickets for children travelling in the train.

These reports claim that now children between the age of one to four years will have to get a ticket for traveling in the train. These news items and media reports are misleading, the report claimed.

It is informed that Indian Railways has not introduced any changes with regards to booking of tickets for children travelling in the train, it clarified. “On the demand of the passengers, an option has been given to them to buy a ticket and book a berth for their under 5 year old child if they want,” the clarification added.

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