5 changes Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu plans in New Year
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu is reported to have planned an elaborate makeover of Indian Railways. The new initiatives, to be taken up by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), have been planned to ensure more revenue for the largest public sector undertaking in the country.
Here are the five major changes being planned by the government in the New Year:
1. Concierge service: Soon, passengers will be able to hire someone to receive them at the station, take care of their luggage and later, drop them home in a secure cab. The package deal to be offered by IRCTC will begin in New Delhi as a pilot project.
2. Helicopter to Vaishno Devi: A study has revealed that only 10 per cent of the total demand for chopper service is being currently met at Vaishno Devi and the railways wants to cash in on it. With Katra station in Jammu now operational, the devotees can soon use the two helipads there, which were made for the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
3. Glass-roof trains: The IRCTC has reportedly asked the Integrated Coach Factory in Chennai to make coaches with glass roofs to enable passengers in tourist areas to soak in the view. The railways is also planning bullet proof glasses to avoid breakage in case of vandalism. Question for railways: what about the bird poop?
4. Air-conditioned local trains: The idea owes its genesis to an IT major in Chennai approaching the government to run special Electrical Multiple Units and Diesel Multiple Units service in the suburbs for its employees.
5. Fresh apples: The IRCTC is planning to procure high-quality apples from a facility at Sonepat in Haryana and then sell them to train passengers, at railway colonies and other bulk buyers like the defence forces.