Parents of students in Delhi’s state-run schools might breathe easy now with the government deciding to rely on an Indian Railways subsidiary – instead of private operators – for organising educational trips outside the city.
The Delhi government, which runs 900 schools in the city, will organise all outstation study tours for students through the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).
“The schools were facing many problems with private tour operators such as poor food, bad transportation facilities and substandard accommodation,” a Delhi government official said.
“To save them from all such things, we finally selected IRCTC as it is quite reliable and has a good experience in tourism business,” the official added.
“All outstation tours shall be undertaken at this stage through the IRCTC. They have undertaken to take care of all issues concerned, from picking the student up to dropping them at the end of the tours,” says a circular signed by Chandra Bhushan Kumar, director (education), Delhi government.
“This will include arrangement for stay, travel, food and the rates are within the norms prescribed by the government for these tours,” says the circular.
IRCTC has already taken more than 100 schools for trips to places like Mount Abu, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Pushkar, Nainital, Mussorie and Dehradun after the circular was brought out in August.
“We have recently tied up with the Delhi government. We have so far taken students from over 100 Delhi government schools on educational tours,” Shashank Shekhar, deputy general manager (tourism), IRCTC, said.
“We are also in touch with nearly 400 schools for organising trips. So far we have received a very encouraging response from both teachers and students. Through us they are also getting an insight into Indian Railways,” Shekhar added.
It will be a dream come true for the people of the Kashmir valley
when Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh will flag off first train here
Even though connecting the Kashmir valley with the rest of the
country through train remains a distant dream, the people in the
valley look forward to see a train running through their fields.
Official sources said Dr Singh will arrive here on Saturday from
Jammu, where he is scheduled to inaugurate the 450 MW Baglihar
hydroelectric project in Doda region on Friday. The DMU (diesel
multiple unit) train will connect the Srinagar with the central
Kashmir. Though a small distance, it will, not only fulfill the
decades-old dream of the people to see a train in their life time
running on Kashmir soil, but will generate a new hope that Kashmir
will be connected with the rest of the country one day.
However, the commercial use of the train will take some time to
They said, immediately after Dr Singh’s arrival here from Jammu, he
will be briefted about the ongoing work on the railway project.
Dr Singh will flag off the train from Srinagar station at Nowgam,
about ten km from here to Badgam on Saturday. As a symbolic gesture,
Dr Singh will board the train from Nowgam station, which is being
considered most modern in the country.
The station is a stunning three-storeyed building which has
beautifully carved wooden paneling and chandeliers and is surrounded
by landscaped gardens.
Sources said work was going on-a war footing on Qazigund to Srinagar
and Srinagar and Baramulla tracks to connect south Kashmir with the