Gohain moots special tourist trains for NE
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Sept 11: A range of ideas to boost tourism in the Northeast, including special tourist trains to unexplored destitions, are under discussion as the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) steps up its efforts partner state tourism bodies in putting the region on the global tourism map.
Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain chaired a meeting of senior IRCTC and Railway officials, state tourism secretaries and other officers of state tourism directorates and corporations on Saturday on joint promotion of tourism and other support that the IRCTC could provide.
Gohain suggested that destition can be made more accessible to both domestic and foreign travellers through special tourist trains, which IRCTC has successfully been operating in other major destitions across the country. He pledged the necessary assistance from his Ministry for such initiatives.
Gohain also advised State tourism organizations to utilize the vast experience on IRCTC in tourism promotion and nomite the mini-rat enterprise as a “brand ambassador” for the entire Northeast region and look at focused and time-bound implementation of tourism development projects.
IRCTC CMD Dr. AK Manocha, NF Railway GM (Construction) HK Jaggi, Assam Additiol Chief Secretary VS Bhaskar, IRTC Director of Tourism & Marketing AK Brar were among the senior officials present at the meeting. The meeting agreed on drafting a tourism development plan for the region incorporating various ideas discussed, and to begin its execution soon. Apart from the Railway periphery, developments of tourism through other modes were also broadly discussed.
On Sunday, IRCTC-installed Water Vending Machines were iugurated at the Guwahati Railway stations by MP Bijoya Chakraborty in the presence of Dr. AK Manocha and other higher official of IRCTC and Railways.
The scheme of water vending machine installation at various stations is a part of the Railway Ministry’s commitment to improving amenities for passengers. The MP welcomed the initiative implemented by the IRCTC and requested that more stations be included in the future.
Chakraborty lauded other CSR activities undertaken by the IRCTC, including promotion of self-help groups and agreed to take up the issue of allotment of land for a budget hotel at Guwahati with the authorities concerned.
Chakraborty has also agreed to put forward to the Assam Government a proposal for starting metro railway in Guwahati area, a project that the IRCTC would be keen to associate with and support.