Delhi: To tap the huge potential of tourism, the Railways on Tuesday announced the ‘Bharat Gaurav’ scheme under which private tour operators can take trains on lease from railways and run them on any circuit of their choice. The operators would also have the freedom to decide routes, fares and quality of services under the scheme.
Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister of Railways, announced the introduction of theme-based tourist circuit trains Bharat Gaurav Trains. Speaking to the media in a press conference, he said that these trains will help realise the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to showcase India’s rich cultural heritage and magnificent historical places to the people of India and the world. He further added that the core strength of the professionals of tourism sector would be leveraged to develop/identify tourist circuits and run theme- based trains to tap the vast tourism potential of India.
These trains, to be operated on lease by private players and state entities such as tourism departments and Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), have been approved. The ministry has identified 3,033 coaches for the purpose and has invited applications for taking over the operation of the new train service.
“This is a completely new segment. This is not a regular train service. ‘Bharat Gaurav’ trains main purpose is to boost tourism and there are many aspects to it,” he said. The service providers will also be able to design/furnish the interior of the coaches based on the theme and put branding or advertising inside and outside of the train.
- Service Provider would be free to decide theme like Guru Kripa trains for covering important places of Sikh culture, Ramayana trains for places connected with Lord Shri Ram etc.
- Service Provider to offer all inclusive package to tourist including rail travel, hotel accommodation, sightseeing arrangement, visit to historical/heritage sites, tour guides etc.
- Full flexibility to decide package cost based on level of services being offered.
- Choice of coachessuiting the clientele,different segments like luxury, budget etc.
- Free to design/furnish interior of the coaches based on the theme.
- Branding and advertisement permitted both inside and outside of train.
- Train composition will be of 14 to 20 coaches including 2 SLRs(Guard Vans).
- Easy one step transparent online registration process. Registration fee of Rs 1 (One) Lakh only.
- Allotment of coaches to all eligible applicants subject to availability. Priority to be based on the Rake Security Deposit Time and Date. Rake Security Deposit of Rs 1 (one) Crore per rake.
- Individual, Partnership Firm, Company, Society, trust, JV/Consortium (Unincorporated/Incorporated) are eligible.
- Right to Use charges and Haulage charges notified in the policy for Service Provider to work out his business model.
- Right to Use Period: 2-10 years.
- Customer Support Units to be made functional in the field for hand holding the service provider and for smooth implementation of this scheme.