New Delhi [India], Nov 19 (ANI): Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC), a tourism arm of Indian Railways, on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) to market and operate the Golden Chariot train.
The MoU was signed in the presence of Minister of State of Railways, Suresh C Angadi, and Karnataka Tourism Minister C T Ravi, Chairman Railway Board Vinod Kumar Yadav amongst others.
"Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) will soon hand over the reins of the train to IRCTC. IRCTC is planning a revamp of the train itineraries also to add different flavours that Karnataka has to offer. The new itineraries shall be a mix of history, culture, wildlife and nature," an official release said.
It is proposed to include Bandipur, Mysore, Halebid, Chikmagalur, Hampi, Bijapur and Goa in the itinerary.
IRCTC is expected to carry out an internal refurbishment of the train and commence operations from March 2020.
The Golden Chariot train which commenced operations in 2008 is a Government of Karnataka initiative in a joint venture with the Ministry of Railways.
The 18 coach long train with 44 guest rooms having a capacity of 84 guests, covers tourist attractions in the state of Karnataka and other south Indian states.
Angadi said that MoU is an important step towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision to promote tourism in India and his clarion call to the countrymen to visit at least fifteen tourism spots in the country.
He directed the IRCTC and KSDTC to keep the price of the tickets competitive so that the common people can also avail the facility of this train. "This train will boost the tourism in Southern India," Angadi said.
Speaking on the occasion, Karnataka Tourism Minister C T Ravi said that Government of Karnataka and KSTDC have been operating and maintaining Golden Chariot since its inception in 2008 and it is the first and only luxury train in the whole South India. (ANI)