Experts and industry observers raise concern about the slow implementation of public private partnership (PPP) projects in railway sector. It is learnt that around 350 PPP projects are in the pipeline in railway sector and these projects require funding of at least Rs 2 lakh crore. Indian Railways (IR) has limited resources to meet the funding requirement. It has funding of Rs 26,000 crore from the central government, internal resources of about Rs 14,000 crore and this year it is expected to raise Rs 6,000 crore through PPP. To clear the backlog of 350 projects, experts say it would take at least Rs 2 lakh crore.
The PPP target for the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-12) was Rs 66,000 crore, compared to the 12th Plan target of Rs 1 lakh crore. In the 11th Plan, the Railways could achieve just four per cent of their set target. Port connectivity projects worth Rs 3,800 crore have attracted private investors. Six projects - Astranga, Dighi, Jaigarh, Dhamra and Rewas - have got a nod from the railways ministry. Hazira port has recently approached IR and is yet to receive a nod. The approved five projects are undergoing private studies for feasibility.