In news– The Union Minister of Railways, announced the introduction of theme-based tourist circuit trains – Bharat Gaurav Trains recently.
About Bharat Gaurav Trains-
- These trains will showcase India’s rich cultural heritage and magnificent historical places to the people of India and the world.
- These trains will be operated by both private players and IRCTC on theme-based circuits. Even tour operators can apply for and lease trains and operate.
- Stakeholders can modify and run the train and Railways will help in maintenance, parking and other facilities.
- The Ministry has allocated around 190 trains for these theme-based circuits, described as the third segment in services offered by the railways after the freight and passenger segments.
- Service Provider to offer an all-inclusive package to tourists including rail travel, hotel accommodation, sightseeing arrangement, visit historical/heritage sites, tour guides etc.
- Branding and advertisement are permitted both inside and outside of the train.
- Train composition will be of 14 to 20 coaches including 2 SLRs(Guard Vans).
- Full flexibility to decide package cost based on level of services being offered.
- Registration fee for these trains for operators is Rs 1 (One) Lakh only.
- 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.
- The annual ‘Right of Use’ charges calculated on the basis of the type of coach taken and the duration.
- The first year’s Right of Use charges have to be paid upfront and the second year’s have to be paid 15 days before the completion of the preceding year.
- It is to be noted that the IRCTC is already running the Ramayana train circuit and plans are underway to start the gurdwara train circuit connecting prominent gurdwaras across the country and these trains will be called Gurukripa.
- The Bharat Gaurav operator will also have to propose a similar business model wherein it takes care of local transport, sightseeing, food, local stays, etc. along with operating the trains.