It sports a swanky look; offers a new set of passenger amenities
It is a public-private partnership initiative
Rs. 3.5 crore to be invested for refurbishing rakes
BANGALORE: Over a period of time, travelling by Rajdhani Express to Delhi had become a harrowing experience for passengers who constantly complained of ill-maintained coaches, sub-standard food and rodent menace.
However on Friday night, the Rajdhani Express, wearing entirely a new look — both on the interior and on the exterior — rolled out of Bangalore City Railway Station, thanks to a public-private partnership initiative.
The Delhi-Bangalore Rajdhani is the first of three Rajdhanis to be branded “Airtel Rajdhani Express,” featuring a host of additional passenger amenities, including round-the-clock housekeeping operations.
An initiative of Northern Railways, the branding has three private partners — M/s Peacock Media Ltd., the sole advertisement right holder for the three routes; M/s CTS Facility Service, the consultant; and M/s Bharti Airtel Ltd., the advertiser. M/s Peacock will pay Rs. 1.25 crore to the Railways towards advertisement rights, invest over Rs. 3.5 crore to refurbish the rakes and spend Rs. 2.5 crore on regular maintenance of these rakes for a year.
Sanjay Jalla, Managing Director of CTS, and Sandeep Chawla of Peacock told presspersons that they were looking forward to roping in more number of trains into the public-private partnership, wherein passengers would be offered better amenities and the advertiser get a chance to project his product.
CTS, when expanded becomes “Clean Train Station,” had conceptualised the clean train station concept for the Indian Railways.
It will be providing and maintaining hygiene standards in the trains.
The features in these Rajdhanis include Research and Development Standard Organisation-specified PVC homogenous flooring, fire-retardant synthetic matting in door area, hollow matting in vestibule area, buffing of all metallic components and fittings; vinyl wrapping for exteriors, micro mist busters as room fresheners; auto janitors for toilet flush, soap and tissue paper dispensers in wash basins and toilets, mechanised intensive cleaning and on-board housekeeping and other facilities.
SWR takes a cue
Sanjiv Handa, Chief Mechanical Engineer, South Western Railway (SWR), said that upon the success of Rajdhanis, the SWR will introduce on-board housekeeping and maintenance on 12 trains, ten starting from Bangalore and two from Vasco-da-Gama. Tenders for selecting contractors would be invited soon. The system was already in place on the Mysore-Hazrath Nizamuddin Swarna Jayanthi Express.
Divisional Railway Manager Mahesh Mangal, Airtel Chief Operating Officer Yatish Mehrotra and Additional DRM Deepak Chhabra were among those present.