151 trains have been privatised
A 1.34 minute video clip on a conversation about Indian Railways during Bharat Jodo Yatra is shared by Rahul Gandhi, Congress social media handles, Congress party members and supporters on social media platforms.
At 0.54 minutes, during the conversation about privatisation of trains, people from SCRE Sangh (South Central Railway Employees’ Sangh) say, “Yes Sir, 151 trains have been privatised”. The video with this claim is shared by many on social media and a few of it can be seen here, here, here, here and here.
What is the truth?
When searching for private trains in India, one of the articles of Hindustan Times in 2021 mentions about India’s first private train. And two of Hindustan Times articles mention, “Indian Railways also plans to introduce private trains on its network in phases, with the first dozen due to start running in the 2023-24 financial year and all 151 by 2027.”
The ‘National Herald’ article dated 12, April 2022 talks about the privatisation of major activities like train running, asset maintenance, station management, project management, execution, production units, school management, medical services and so on.
‘The Print’ article published in July 2020 reports about the Modi government’s moves to privatise railways inviting private players. The article mentioned, ”a senior railway official said that the private operators will choose their technology and determine the fare. But certain aspects like safety, time-tabling of trains etc. will stay with the railways”.
‘PIB Factcheck’ on 13, November 2022 tweeted, “A tweet is falsely claiming that 151 trains, railway property, stations and hospitals of Indian Railways have been privatized. These claims are completely bogus and fact-less? The Ministry of Indian Railways is not privatizing any of its assets”
The conversation of the viral video starts as,
“Rahul Gandhi – Which part of the Indian Railways are they privatising?
AGS, SCRE Sangh – Railway stations, railway workshops, railway medical hospitals and railway establishments are going to be privatised.”
The viral video falsely claims that 151 trains have been privatised. But regarding other railway establishments, the video says that they are going to be privatised and not that they have been privatised already as mentioned by PIB Factcheck.
The viral video falsely claims 151 trains have been privatised. But the fact is there were discussions and invitation on request for qualification of the private players to run 151 trains, and are not yet privatised.