The Indian Railways has introduced a new scheme to promote tourism and business. The Bharat Gaurav scheme will let private entities run trains based on theme circuits. This will not only boost business opportunities but also improve employment opportunities across the country. The Railways will offer any entity, including private players the “Right of Use” to utilise the rakes and infrastructure of the Indian Railways for private players. Previously, these theme-based trains, like the Ramayana Express, were operated exclusively by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).
What Are Bharat Gaurav Trains?
Under this policy, trains can be leased by any operator or service provider, or virtually anyone, from Indian Railways to run on a theme-based circuit as a special tourism package. The arrangement’s tenure is a minimum of two years and a maximum of the codal life of the train coach. Each of these trains will have between 14 and 20 coaches. These Bharat Gaurav trains cannot be used as ordinary transport trains between an origin and destination.
The Bharat Gaurav Scheme liberalises the leasing of the trains for special tour packages. Any player, private or otherwise, can approach the Indian Railways to run theme-based train circuits. The arrangement will last for a minimum of two years. The operators will also be able to decorate the trains, interior and exterior, sell advertising space, and name the circuit and the train.
A total of 3,033 conventional ICF-designed coaches have been reserved for the scheme, with the possibility of operators of circuits being allowed to buy rakes from the production units of Indian Railways. The operators will be able to decide the route, services to be provided, halts, and tariffs on these special routes. The operators will also be able to change the furnishings within the train coaches as long as they comply with safety norms, but cannot do any activities that are actively prohibited by railway laws, like serving alcohol aboard trains. Well, this new scheme introduced by the Indian Railways will help privatisation and renovation of the railway networks of India by escalating the limits and possibilities of rail tourism in India.
Source : The freepress Journal