It’s cheers on board yet again for Maharaja Express passengers across UP

The state government has conveyed its decision to allow serving of liquor on these trains to the excise department virtually paving way for the formal release of their no objection certificate in this regard.

lucknow Updated: Jul 24, 2017 15:30 IST
K Sandeep Kumar
K Sandeep Kumar
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Maharaja Express,Uttar Pradesh government,Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd
Maharaja express is a luxury train of India and covers five different journeys.(IRCTC website)

In a move that will make journey of tourists really royal, the Uttar Pradesh government has given its nod to continue serving of liquor in five Maharaja Express trains run by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC) as they visit the Hindi heartland.

“The no objection certificate will pave way for the train staff to serve fine wine and choicest of cocktails to foreign and domestic tourists who pay up in dollars to tour well-known destinations in royal opulence on-board these trains,” shared a senior excise department official.

The state government has conveyed its decision to allow serving of liquor on board these trains to the excise department virtually paving way for the formal release of their no objection certificate in this regard, he added.

The trains for which the permission have been granted include: The Heritage of India (Mumbai-Ajanta-Udaipur-Jodhpur-Bikaner-Jaipur-Ranthambore-Agra and Delhi), The Indian Splendour (Delhi-Agra-Ranthmbore-Jaipur-Bikaner-Jopdhpur-Udaipur-Balasinor-Mumbai), Treasures of India (Delhi-Agra-Ranthambore-Jaipur-Delhi), Gems of India (Delhi-Agra-Ranthambore-Jaipur-Delhi) and The Indian Panorama(Delhi-Jaipur-Ranthambore-Fatehpur Sikri-Agra-Gwalior-Khajuaraho-Varanasi-Lucknow-Delhi).

Under secretary Vinod Kumar Tiwari, in a missive dated July 10, 2017, has conveyed the government’s decision to allow serving of the liquor of these five trains to specially encourage international tourism for 2017-18 to UP Excise commissioner.

The state government had allowed serving of liquor on these trains in 2014, 2015 and 2016 also with SP’s Akhilesh Yadav at helm of affairs in UP.

However, with Yogi Adityanath taking over as chief minister and the Supreme Court recently ordering closure of liquor shops on national highways, railway as well as IRCTC officials had been waiting for the nod this year anxiously, shared a senior railway official.

The IRCTC letter which sought the approval had highlighted the need to serve liquor in such trains as a significant factor to gain a flawless and international level of tourism in India. Also, the fact that Maharaja Express already has the approval for serving alcohol in the Delhi line also worked in its favour.

Maharaja express is a luxury train of India and covers five different journeys. All the trains are fully equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and the theme of their designs has been inspired from the legendary empires bygone era. These trains also have a well stocked bar with a variety of finest labels of wines and spirits from around the world that IRCTC boasts of serving “in an enchantingly decadent setting of a royal safari” in imported hand cut crystal glasses to attract tourists.

First Published: Jul 24, 2017 15:30 IST