Hauling up Indian Railways for “failing to see a hidden treasure in untapped tourist and pilgrims sites potential”, the parliamentary standing committee on railways made some scathing remarks on the “shortsighted vision of the largest transporter.” Indian Railways, including IRCTC, came in for some criticism from the committee for not “augmenting its services to meet tourist and pilgrims demand exclusively.”
Also, “the railways are doing nothing to designate some top religious tourist stations,” says the report, which has asked the largest transporter to connect popular tourist places and link the states with immense religious pilgrim potential first, besides linking Shirdi and Tirupati with more train services.
The committee, chaired by MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay, cautioned the railways ministry not to take the tourism and pilgrimage sector too lightly as “it may prove to be a hidden treasure for railways to increase revenue if explored judiciously.”
The committee noted, “Many tourist/pilgrim destinations are already connected by rail. However, states having high potential for tourism like Jammu & Kashmir, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, northern Kerala and Northeast states witness minimal presence of railways.” Stressing to lay focused planning to augment train services in the Valley, Northeast states and parts of Central India, the committee feels that “if railways have to increase their revenue, they will have to focus on those areas which possess touristic/historic/religious importance and are not connected by rail.”
Source – GConnect
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