Vantage point

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Privatising Railway Stations

The ideal scenario would be if the rail sector is thrown open and Indian Railways privatised. But even the most "educated" folks in our country would splutter out their coffees at the idea. So let us start small and let us start with something mildly achievable.

Railway stations can be and should be privatised. All railway stations in India are sitting on prime real estate. If rail tracks were to magically disappear tomorrow, all railway station land would command the highest possible price for the city. If a private company were to operate railway stations, it would have the incentive to keep them clean so that they can maximize revenues from it.

A few major changes are happening in my life these days, so am a bit busy to write a full-fledged post about this idea. Why don't you do it? In fact if you are b-school student, take this as a suggestion for your next marketing term paper. Possible revenue sources for privatised railway stations.

As a starting point, you can mention the privately run 24-hour coffee shop on the Pune railway station. Throw in some info about how foodcourts in American railway stations are quite successful.