New Delhi: Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC), a tourism arm of Indian Railways, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) to market and operate the Golden Chariot Train in New Delhi on 19 November in the presence of Minister of State of Railways, Suresh C Angadi, and Minister of Tourism, Government of Karnataka, C.T. Ravi.
KSTDC will soon hand over the reins of the train to IRCTC, which is planning a revamp of the train itineraries, as also to add different flavours that Karnataka has to offer. The new itineraries shall be a mix of history, culture, wildlife and nature. It is proposed to include Bandipur, Mysore, Halebid, Chikmagalur, Hampi, Bijapur and Goa in the itinerary.
IRCTC is expected to carry out internal refurbishment of the train and commence operations from March 2020.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State of Railways Suresh Angadi said that this MoU is an important step towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to promote tourism in India and his clarion call to the countrymen to visit at least fifteen tourism spots in the country.
Angadi directed the IRCTC and KSDTC to keep the price of the tickets competitive so that the common people can also avail of the facility of this train. Angadi added that this train will boost tourism in Southern India and wished grand success to this project.
The State Minister of Tourism CT Ravi said that the Government of Karnataka and KSTDC have been operating and maintaining Golden Chariot since its inception in 2008 and it is the first and only luxury train in the whole of South India.
Golden Chariot showcases the rich culture and heritage of the region, added Ravi. He said that the MoU between IRCTC & KSTDC will be mutually beneficial for both organizations and tourism will be strengthened through this partnership.
Chairman of the Railway Board Vinod Kumar Yadav expressed confidence that IRCTC and KSTDC will successfully operate and market the Golden Chariot for domestic and international tourists. He assured all cooperation and necessary support to the project.
The Golden Chariot train which commenced operations in 2008 is a Government of Karnataka initiative in a Joint Venture with Ministry of Railways, Government of India. The 18 coach long train with 44 guest rooms has a capacity of 84 guests, and covers tourist attractions in south Indian states including Karnataka.
IRCTC also operates the popular Maharajas’ Express luxury train, which commenced operations in 2010 running on 4 circuits and mainly centred on Rajasthan.
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