Private Firms Will Operate Bharat Gaurav Trains & Set Ticket Price: 5 Things You Need To Know
The Indian Railways has launched Bharat Gaurav trains to be operated by private players and run on theme-based circuits.
The scheme is an effort towards promoting and attracting tourism business.
It also creates a third category of train after passenger segments and goods segments- the tourism segment or ‘Bharat Gaurav’ train.
An example of such theme-based tourist trains is the Ramayana Express which conducts tours of several places connected to Lord Ram.
Anyone Can Apply
The Railways will offer operators the “Right of Use” of its rakes and infrastructure.
Though any entity can run these trains, including state governments, the policy specifically targets tour operators.
It is open to any individual, company, society, trust, joint venture or consortium.
The tenure is a minimum of two years and maximum of the codal life of the coach.
The operator can decide the route, the halts, the services provided and the tariff.
It can design the interiors and its furnishings as it wants.
Further, it can name the circuit, the train and sell advertisement space.
It can also decide the food and entertainment it offers the passengers.
On such tours, the passengers typically stop over at a place, stay at hotels and undertake sightseeing.
Operators will be responsible for end-to-end, comprehensive service like hotel stay, local arrangements, etc.
They will offer tourists an all inclusive package which covers rail travel, hotel accommodation and sightseeing arrangement, visit to historical/heritage sites, tour guides etc.
They will have to propose a similar business model under which it handles local transport, sightseeing, food, local stays, etc. along with operations.
Indian Railways’ Role
The Indian Railways will only physically run the trains, maintain them and charge a fee.
It will also provide staff to drive the trains, guards and also maintenance staff.
It will ensure that its entire infrastructure can safely and efficiently host the train in its network.
Further, it will give the tourist trains priority in its paths so that they are not held up or sidelined to make way for regular trains.
The operator will have to pay a sum of registration fee, security deposit for the rake, “Right of Use” charges, haulage charges and stabling charges.
A one-time online registration fee of Rs 1 lakh will be charged to the applicant.
After allotment of the rake, there is a security deposit of Rs 1 crore per rake irrespective of its size, for the duration of the Right of Use period.