The much-awaited fully air-conditioned, low-fare Garib Rath Express, running between Ranchi and Delhi, was flagged off in Ranchi on Wednesday by union Minister for Food Processing Subodh Kant Sahay.
The train, which provides affordable, faster and AC train service to the not-so-affluent people, will run twice a week - every Monday and Friday from Ranchi to Delhi and every Wednesday and Saturday from New Delhi to Ranchi. It has 18 air-conditioned 3-tier coaches. The fare for Garib Rath has been fixed at Rs.505 compared to Rs.1,450 for the Rajdhani Express.
The Garib Rath Express was introduced by Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav to provide full air-conditioned travel to those passengers who cannot afford expensive tickets of Rajdhani or Shatabdi Express.
The flag-off ceremony of the Ranchi-New Delhi Garib Rath took place at the Ranchi railway station. It will leave Ranchi at 5.10 p.m. and would reach New Delhi at 11 p.m. next day. From Delhi, it will leave at 4.10 p.m. and reach Ranchi at 10 p.m. the following day.
"Rajdhani is only three days in a week and Garib Rath will compensate the vacuum of two days. Other trains take longer to reach New Delhi from Ranchi," a resident of Ranchi Sohan Rai, who was present on the occasion, said.
Rajya Sabha member from Jharkhand Parimal Nathwani was also present on the occasion.
Another express train from Ranchi to Chaupran was also flagged off Wednesday.