New Delhi, Nov 19 : Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation on Tuesday joined hands with Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) to run the Golden Chariot Train.
An MoU was signed between IRCTC and KSTDC in the presence of Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi and Karnataka Tourism Minister C T Ravi. Before the signing of the MoU, Mr Angadi said, 'The Golden Chariot Train and other Luxury trains should be made affordable for the common man. This step would go a long way in enhancing rail tourism in Southern India. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said in his August 15 speech that an Indian tourist should travel and visit at least 15 tourist spots. Such trains can be a big help in this direction.'
Mr Angadi said,'People should see the natural beauty of India. I congratulate both the organizations on this day. Today we have gathered here to show Karnataka our vision.' 'The Golden Chariot is all set to chug again! This time in a new 'avatar', under operation of IRCTC.
The ever so beautiful State of Karnataka would thrill nature lovers like never before,' he has tweeted on Monday.
Mr Ravi said people could have a tour of mix of history, culture, wildlife and nature of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala as the itinerary will include Bandipur, Mysore, Halebid, Chikmagalur, Hampi, Bijapur and Goa. The 18-coach long train with 44 guest rooms having a capacity of 84 guests, covers tourist attractions in Karnataka and other south Indian states. Also, the IRCTC is expected to carry out internal refurbishment of the train and commence operations from March 2020.
The agreement was signed by KSTDC Managing Director Kumar Pushkar and IRCTC Whole-time Director (Tourism & Marketing) Rajni Hasija.
As per the agreement, IRCTC will market and promote the Golden Chariot and operate the train, while KSTDC will focus on the train's decoration and the facilities of tourist places. KSTDC will soon handover the reins of the train to IRCTC, which is the tourism arm of Railways Ministry.
The Golden Chariot Train which commenced operations in 2008 is a Karnataka government initiative in a joint venture with Railways.
Those present on the occasion include Chairman Railway Board Vinod Kumar Yadav, Member Traffic M S Mishra, and Railway Board and IRCTC officials. (UNI)