Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister of Railways, introduced the Bharat Gaurav policy – Bharat Gaurav Trains (Theme- based Tourist Circuit trains) under which private players or state owned operators can operate theme based circuit trains on the lines of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). The Bharat Gaurav policy aims to promote and attract tourism.
- The theme based circuit trains are aimed to take tourists to experience the cultural heritage sites of India.
About Bharat Gaurav Scheme:
i.Under the Bharat Gaurav policy, any operator or service provider, or anyone, can lease trains from Indian Railways to run on a theme-based circuit as a special tourism package.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.
ii.The operator can decide on the route, the halts, the services provided and the complete freedom to decide on the package cost.
iii.Parameters: under this scheme the operator should offer an inclusive package to the tourist, which should include rail travel, hotel accommodation and sightseeing arrangements, visit to historical or heritage sites, tour guides and others.
iv.Size of the train: 14-20 coaches, including two guard vans
For tour circuit trains, The Indian railways has reserved 3033 Integral Coach Factory (ICF) coaches around 190 trains have been allocated.
i.The interested operators can apply online by registering with a one-time fee of Rs 1 lakh and the Operators have to give a security deposit of Rs 1 crore per rake.
ii.Eligibility: Individual, Partnership Firm, Company, Society, trust, JV/Consortium (Unincorporated/Incorporated) are eligible.
iii.Under this scheme, the railways will take the haulage charges and a Right to Use fee
iv.Right To Use Period: Minimum of 2 years and maximum of 10 years.
v.Units: To facilitate and handhold the operators, the railways will set up special units in zones.
IRCTC Theme based circuits:
- Ramayana Express – tours several locations connected to lord Ram.
- Guru Kripa train – covers the important sites of sikh culture.
About Ministry of Railways:
Union Minister– Ashwini Vaishnaw (Rajya Sabha- Odisha)
Minister of State– Danve Raosaheb Dadarao (Constituency- Jalna, Maharashtra) & Darshana Jardosh(Constituency- Surat, Gujarat)