The decision has been taken to popularise the railways’ facilities for tourists and common passengers. Each district will have 10 tourism facilitation centres. Tourists and common passengers will now have more information on hand once the first-of-its-kind venture starts operating near railway stations and different parts of the city.
“The centres will cater to passengers and common people. Now, passengers will no longer need to depend on travel agencies for booking railway and airline tickets. The travel agencies always charge Rs 20 to Rs 30 extra but at the tourism facilitation centres, passengers will not need to pay any extra money. The service will be provided free of cost,” said Anand Kumar Jha, Regional Manager - Patna , IRCTC. He added, “These Centres will also generate employment opportunities for youths who want to pursue a career in the tourism industry. Each centre will have five young employees who would provide the service to tourists and passengers.”
The facilities will include booking railway tour packages, holiday packages, car rentals, booking special trains and coaches, booking Bharat Darshan package and air tickets, all free of charge. Each district will have 10 tourism facilitation centres with one near the main railway station. In Patna, for instance, one tourism facilitation centre would be near Patna Junction, while the others would be situated at important spots like Kankerbagh, Patna City, Rajendra Nagar, Rajabazar, Boring Road and Patliputra. Jha said, “These centres will provide a range of facilities to make Bihar one of the most tourist-friendly states in India.”
Deepak Chhabra, Chief Commercial Manager, East Central Railway said, “The centres will be equipped with all kinds of information related to tourism, as we have seen tourists eager to know about festivals in the state like Rajgir Mahotsava and other government programmes. Tourist destinations like Bodhgaya, Pawapuri, Nalanda and Rajgir are hotspots for foreign tourists. These centres will help tourists find out about trains and routes to their destinations.”
Jha added, “We will train the employees who will deliver the service to the passengers and tourists. They will be trained in tourism, how to issue tickets and interact with the people who come to seek the service. The idea is to make Indian Railways more popular than ever. Within a month, the tourism facilitation centres will be set up at various locations in Patna and other districts of the state.”