The Indian Railways is set to introduce six new tourism circuits throughout the country to boost tourism. These circuits will majorly focus on spiritual tourism. The six identified circuits are - Devi Circuit, Sufi Circuit, Sikh Circuit, Christian Circuit, Buddhist Circuit and Jyotirling Circuit.
While announcing the Annual Railway Budget, Sadanand Gowda, minister of Railways, Government of India said, “We will launch trains for special circuits which we have identified. We will also introduce special ecotourism and educational tourism projects to the North East. Also a special train will be introduced featuring the life and teachings of Swami Vivekananda.”
The Indian Railways will accomplish all their new projects through Public Private Partnerships (PPP). Also, there are plans to propose the introduction of FDI in Railways, except for the railway operations. The Railway Budget majorly focuses on safety, cleanliness and passenger amenities.
- The Indian railways will introduce escalators and lifts in all major railway stations through PPP
- Provision of battery operated cars in all major stations for senior citizens and disabled passengers
- To introduce paid work stations in select trains for the business travellers which will be completed this year
- In order to improve hygiene and quality of food onboard- the Railways plans to introduce 'Ready to Eat' food by major brands which will be introduced in phased manner
- To introduce food courts at all major stations
- In order to increase the cleanliness railways has increased its budget for cleanliness by 40 per cent
- Railways will introduce a separate Housekeeping wing
- Will outsource the hospitality segment to private partners
- Plans to install CCTVs to be used for monitoring cleanliness in all major stations
- Plans to increase its onboard housekeeping services from 400 trains to almost all important trains
- To introduce mechanised laundries for trains to increase cleanliness
- To install RO- drinkink water units in all stations
Also, Indian Railways will encourage corporates to adopt stations which will help to maintain the stations.