All Indian railway contracts will be tendered online from early next year, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Sunday, while flagging off the first of the bi-weekly trains from Goa’s Margao railway station to New Delhi.
Prabhu, while speaking at the function by the Konkan Railway in Margao, 35 km from Panaji, also said the first few modern railway coaches designed by the National Institute of Design have already been rolled out.
“All work contracts also, by the end of this year, or earliest, in the early part of next year… everything will be on the internet. All contracts will be on e-tendering platform,” Prabhu said.
“We are trying to ensure that whole process of the railways will be transparent. All examinations which people used to give, there were a lot of complaints about wrongdoing. Now we have started online examinations and the idea would be all examinations will be made online,” Prabhu said.
Prabhu also said that in the past the Indian Railways used to take six years to issue a tender for a project after it’s announcement, but added that such an extensive time lag was a thing of the past.
“My colleagues in the Railway Board tell me that earlier when a project was announced, it would take six years for a tender to be issued… The time gap has been reduced to six months. My target is to reduce it even further and make it completely transparent,” Prabhu said.
Besides, in a bid to modernise, the railways ministry was also pushing for a roll out of new, modern coaches which would change the way in which a typical journey by Indian Railways was often perceived, Prabhu said.
“We have already rolled out first few coaches. But it will take time because there are thousands of coaches which need to be renovated and re-fitted. Once that is done, people will experience a different type of travel experience when they travel by Indian Railways,” Prabhu said.
The bi-weekly Rajdhani Express, which was flagged off by Prabhu, along with Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar will depart Margao Railway station at 10.05 am on every Sunday and Monday and reach Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway station at 12.40 pm on the subsequent day.
From Hazrat Nizamuddin station the Rajdhani will leave at 10.55 am on every Friday and Saturday and reach Margao the next day at 12.55 p.m.
The 16 coach train will halt at Thivim, Kudal, Ratnagiri, Panvel, Surat, Vadodara and Kota railway stations.