Now, ‘Adarsh’ railway stations too! Tourism and railway ministries join hands

The Ministry of Tourism in partnership with the Railways Ministry will develop 50 Adarsh railway stations across the country in an attempt to attract more tourist footfalls.

Both the ministries have signed a joint venture agreement to develop the existing infrastructure. These railway stations would be cleaned and painted in such a way that they highlight the local culture and the tourism potential of the particular place.
“We will put up various things like direction boards; tourist guides etc in all these railways stations. This will woo more tourists to visit these places,” said Union tourism minister Mahesh Sharma.

The minister said that the tourism ministry had also inked a joint venture with the Railways Ministry to have special tourist coaches in tourist bound stations.
“There will be a special tourist coach that will have many additional facilities and ambience for passengers’ comfort. The fare of this coach would obviously be a little higher than the others, but in terms of passenger amenities, it would be a pleasant experience for any tourist to travel in that coach,” Sharma said.

According to railway sources, these 50 railway stations would include major stations like Benaras, New Delhi, Amritsar, Lucknow, Allahabad, Chandigarh and Jaipur.
The railway budget of the Indian Railways in the fiscal year 2015-16 had announced that about 200 stations would be brought under the “Adarsh Station Scheme”.

The stations were to be given basic amenities like toilets, drinking water, catering services, waiting rooms etc. Under the “Swachh Rail Swachh Bharat” programme. Professional cleaning agencies were also be hired to keep trains and stations clean and train railway staff with professional techniques. But railway sources said that the project did not take off well and the ministry also didn’t show much interest on it.
The railway ministry also switched its focus to developing 400 new world-class railway stations putting the Adarsh Scheme on hold, but now the project has been revived.
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