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Current Affairs

Bharat Gaurav scheme

Date: 26 November 2021 Tags: Railways

Issue

The Bharat Gaurav trains have been announced by the Indian Railways to promote tourism across the country.

 

Background

The trains will operate on theme-based circuits and will be operated by private players. These operators will have “Right of Use” of its rakes and infrastructure.

 

Details

  • This is the first time that the railways has liberalized its operations to allow players apart from Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).

  • The policy allows any entity, including state governments to operate trains but the focus is on tour operators.

 

The policy

  • Any tour operator or service provider can lease trains from railways and run on a theme-based circuit as a special package.

  • The railways has given the minimum period of two years for any arrangement and maximum of the codal life of the coach. 

  • The operator will be given the freedom to decide the route, the halts, the type of services given and also the tariffs.

 

Issues to be taken care of

  • The operators should take care of end-to-end, comprehensive service like local transport, sightseeing, food, local stays, etc. along with operating the trains.

  • About 3033 conventional Integral Coach Factory-design coaches have been earmarked for leasing to operators under the scheme. The entity can even buy the coaches if feasible.

  • The train should contain 14 and 20 coaches. They cannot be used as transport trains between two stations.

 

Approval mechanism

  • A special unit will be created in each railway zone to guide applicants in end-to-end procedural requirements for the operators.

  • The idea is to ensure that operators can go to a single unit for their requirements rather than running from pillar to post.

 

Modifications allowed

  • Interior of coaches can be modified within safety norms. Berth composition can also be changed. However, dismantling critical parts is not allowed.

  • Branding can be carried out on the exterior and interior of the train. Entity can sell advertisement space on the train.

  • They can tie up with agencies for business development. Food and entertainment on the train can be decided by operators.

 

Objective

The main task is to ensure that operators are given freedom to run and develop a business model in which railways physically runs the trains, maintains them and charges a fee.