Patna, Nov. 30: The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation’s plan to set up tourism facilitation centres with the help of Indian Railways in Patna and other districts of Bihar has derailed.
The centres, which were supposed to become operational by October this year, now might come up next January.
The decision to set up these tourism facilitation centres was aimed at popularising the facilities available for railway tourists as well as the common passengers.
The Telegraph has found out that the file of the proposed centre has not yet been sent to the divisional railway manager (DRM), Danapur office, under East Central Railway (ECR).
Sources in the DRM office confirmed that it has not yet received the file, which in turn has delayed the project.
“The DRM can only give a go-ahead to the project after it goes through the proposed plan. However, it has been more than a month that he has not received the file from the office of divisional commercial manager (DCM), Danapur. The delay by the DCM’s office has delayed of the project, otherwise, the tourism facilitation centres would have started functioning at least at Patna Junction and Rajendra Nagar Railway Station,” said a source under the cover of anonymity.
The project is the first-of-its-kind and it will provide additional benefits to the common man as well as the tourists who will have more information with the opening of the centres at the city railway station and various parts of the city, including Rajabazar, Boring Road and Patliputra.
Once the centres are set up, it would cater to the need of the passengers as well as the common man of the state. They would not have to depend on the travel agencies for booking of rail tickets as well as air tickets for which they charge between Rs 20 and Rs 30 extra.
The service would be provided free of cost.
Arvind Kumar Rajak Senior DCM, Danapur of ECR told The Telegraph that the file has not yet been sent to the DRM’s office: “We have received the proposal from IRCTC, who wants to set up the tourist facilitation centres with the help of Indian Railways. We are going through the proposal, which needs the approval of the DRM’s office. However, the files has not been sent to the DRM’s office because of some problems and it seems the process would take some time,” he said.
Another official at the DCM’s office said: “I cannot confirm the exact date, but by the first week of January 2012, the centre is likely to start at Patna Junction and Rajender Nagar Railway station. After the DRM gives its nod, it would not take much time to complete the project.”
Patna IRCTC regional manager Anand Kumar Jha said: “We are ready to start the project. The moment we receive the approval from the DCM and the DRM’s office, we will start the work.”
He added: “The centre would provide a range of facilities to make Bihar one of the most tourist-friendly states in the country. The facilities, which will be available at the counters include booking rail tour packages, holiday packages, car rentals, booking of special trains and coaches, booking of the Bharat Darshan package as well as air tickets.”