‘Bharat Gaurav’ Scheme

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    • Recently, Indian Railways announced the introduction of theme-based, tourist circuit trains on the lines of the Ramayana Express named ‘Bharat Gaurav’ to showcase India’s rich cultural heritage and history to the world. 

    About the ‘Bharat Gaurav’ scheme

    • Under the scheme,190 tourist circuit trains are to be operated on lease by private players and state entities such as tourism departments and Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).
      • The ministry has identified 3,033 coaches for Bharat Gaurav trains.
    • Private tour operators can now take trains on lease from the railways and run them on any circuit of their choice, with the freedom to decide routes, fares and quality of services.
    • The parameters of the scheme: The operator has to offer sightseeing, food, local transport (taxi etc), hotels at stopover places, onboard entertainment and such things. The arrangement can be for two to 10 years. Operators have to give a security deposit of Rs 1 crore per rake. 
      • The size of each train would be 14-20 coaches, including two guard vans. The railways will just take haulage charges and a Right to a Use fee.
    • Features:
      • The railways will set up special units in zones to facilitate and handhold the operators. Branding and advertisement are permitted inside and on the exterior of the trains.
    • They will offer an all-inclusive package to tourists including rail travel, hotel accommodation and sightseeing arrangement, visit to historical/heritage sites, tour guides etc and have full flexibility to decide the package cost.

    Source: TH