Railways planning to reduce fares of Bharat Gaurav trains soon, say officials
A final decision on reducing the fare is yet to be taken by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).
In order to attract more passengers, Indian Railways is planning to reduce Bharat Gaurav trains fares that was introduced to promote religious tourism, officials said.
“A final decision on reducing the fare is yet to be taken by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). Currently, each passenger is charged ₹62,000 for an 18-day tour in an AC 3 tier seat. Low occupancy is believed to be due to poor coaches and prices being on the higher side for the lower middle-class pilgrim,” a railways official said.
“Until last year, pilgrims used to travel in Bharat Darshan trains which were cheaper than the Bharat Gaurav trains. The cost of an 18-day journey on Bharat Darshan, which was discontinued in April 2022, was around ₹27000. Hence, fares of Bharat Gaurav trains are aimed to be reduced by at least 20%,” he added.
Recently, the railways had to cancel two planned services; Bharat Gaurav Special Shri Jagannath Yatra Rail Tour and Ramayana Circuit Bharat Gaurav train due to lack of occupancy, railway official said.
“As of now, poor occupancy forced the railways to run only one train on the Ramayana route due to poor occupancy, also leading to loss of revenue, “the officer said.
Officials said the IRCTC had raised the issue to the ministry.
“They had also highlighted the loss in revenue due to low occupancy and also pointed out that the ticket fares were too high to woo the passengers,” the official added.
Officials also said the railway board last week gave approval to use only Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches with an aim to facilitate passengers with comfortable berths, charging points and other facilities.
“To give concerted thrust to efforts for the promotion of rail-based tourism through the provision of better-quality coaches and viable tour packages, the Bharat Gaurav Trains Scheme has been reviewed. Henceforth, only LHB coaches will be allotted under the Bharat Gaurav Trains scheme,” the ministry’s statement issued early this month read.
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