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Railways to Promote Gandhi Circuit to attract Tourists

New Delhi: To promote tourism in the country, Indian Railways will join this effort through Incredible Rail for Incredible India. Presenting the Railway Budget 2015-16 in Parliament today the Railway Minister Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that successful experiment of training of auto-rickshaw and taxi operators as tourist-guides on Konkan Railway will be replicated at major tourist stations. He said the possibility of offering some coaches in select trains connecting major tourist destinations to travel agencies on a revenue sharing model will also be explored. Railway Minister said that to mark the 100 years of the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to India, Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will promote the Gandhi circuit to attract tourists. He said IRCTC will work on Kisan Yatra, a special travel scheme to help farmers to learn about new farming and marketing technique. ‘Swachh Rail - Swachh Bharat’ The Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu has said that ensuring higher standards of cleanliness is of utmost priority for Indian Railways. He said, his Ministry wants to make Swachh Rail the driving force behind the Government’s flagship programme ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’. Presenting the Railway Budget 2015-16in Parliament today Shri Prabhu said, the Railways now works on – ‘Swachh Rail Swachh Bharat’. Outlining the proposals on cleanliness he said, the Railways proposes to create a new department for keeping stations and trains clean. Integrated cleaning will be taken up as a specialized activity, which will include engaging professional agencies and also training staff in the latest cleaning practices. He said, Railways plans to set up ‘waste to energy’ conversion plants near major coaching terminals to dispose waste in an environment-friendly manner. One pilot plant will be set up, to begin with, followed by more plants in a phased manner. The Railway Minister said, the condition of toilet facilities in stations and trains needs major improvement. The Railways will build new toilets covering 650 additional stations compared to 120 stations last year. Bio-toilets are being fitted in coaches. He said, so far the Railways has replaced the existing toilets with 17,388 bio toilets. This year it intends to replace another 17,000 toilets. Research, Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) has also been tasked with making available within a period of six months a design for vacuum toilets. Shri Prabhu said, Even as the quality of Indian Railways’ On-board Housekeeping Service (OBHS), presently available in 500 pairs of trains, is being re-looked to make it more effective, the Railways will take simple steps immediately to address customer concerns. The feasibility of a disposable bag along with bedroll for the purpose of collecting their garbage is being considered. The coverage of built in dustbins will be extended to non-AC coaches as well. The Minister appealed all citizens to keep Indian Railways clean as it is their travelling home.

About Sanjay Trivedi

Sanjay Trivedi is honorary editor of Asia Times. He is senior Indian Journalist having vast experience of 25 years. He worked in Janmabhoomi, Vyapar, Divya Bhaskar etc. newspapers and TV9 Channel as well as www.news4education.com. He is serving as Media Officer in Gujarat Technological University, the university which controlling 440 colleges of Engineering, Management, Pharmacy & Architecture colleges in Gujarat.

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