Trains may be used to spread health awareness

Government would make use of trains for spreading awareness about health-related social welfare schemes in a bid to reach out to the masses.

Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal today said his Ministry would soon chalk out a plan with the Health Ministry for displaying campaigns and advertisements of social welfare schemes for the poor and common man.

“I am open and receptive to the idea…I welcome it outright,” Bansal said while addressing a function to mark the closing of the third phase of the Red Ribbon Express for creating awareness on HIV/AIDS.

Bansal was responding to the suggestion by Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad for painting of rail coaches with informative advertisements to spread the message about various health- related welfare schemes.

“Indian Railways has over 51,000 coaches. To begin with, on some coaches we can have the messages painted. Both the Railway and Health Ministry will work out the modalities soon,” Bansal said.

Azad had earlier said there was a need for an “innovative medium” to spread the message about the various initiatives taken by the government.

“Many welfare schemes have been launched by the Government of India for the benefit of the people. Janani-Shishu Suraksha Yojna is one such programme which has been started to guarantee free health care to all the pregnant mothers and sick neonates. But due to lack of awareness, the scheme has not reached the pregnant mothers,” he said.

Adding that the trains can be an ideal carrier of social and welfare messages, he said: “When we roam around the city we find advertisements everywhere, but the big trains which travel across the length and breadth of the country, there is no advertisement on them.”

Azad said campaigns won’t work if the Railway Ministry only provides trains. “Railway Ministry needs to take the same amount of interest in the campaign as the Health Ministry.

“Coaches would be painted with messages which are informative and educative for the benefit of the general public in the days to come,” Bansal said

Published in: on January 19, 2013 at 8:50 am  Leave a Comment  

Railways signs pact with Spain on high speed trains

The railways on Friday signed an agreement with Spain to promote cooperation and information exchange in the areas of bullet trains, enhancing speed of passenger trains on existing lines and improving safety of train operations.

The MoU was signed by railway minister C P Joshi and Spanish minister of public works and transport Ana Pastor Julian for technical cooperation in the rail sector that includes modernization of rolling stock among others.

Railways has announced seven high-speed corridors and has prepared a Cabinet note to set up a high-speed rail authority to run trains at 300 km/hour.

Golden Chariot luxury train to become costlier

A ride on Karnataka’s luxury train, Golden Chariot, which completed one year on the tracks is all set to become costlier, after it returns from an overhaul on August 17.

At present, Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) is charging Rs 1,35,800 for single occupancy, Rs 98,000 per person for double occupancy and Rs 79,800 per person for triple occupancy for a seven nights and six days trip. The costs are inclusive of travel expenses, food, boarding and lodging.

Project Director Anand Menon, said that the existing fares would continue till March 31. The KSTDC would be giving 20 per cent discount on the existing fares to attract the local tourists from April 1. The discount will be given only till the train goes for complete overhauling on May 15.

At present, local tourists who travel on Golden Chariot constitute only 20 per cent of the total number of tourists. KSTDC is planning to charge US $3395 (Rs 1,76,540) per person for single occupancy, US $2430 (Rs 1,26,360) per person for double occupancy and US $1195 (Rs 1,03,440) per person for triple occupancy.

The revised fares will come into force after the train returns from overhauling on August 17.

The Golden Chariot, which was flagged off for the first time from Yeshwantpur Railway Station on March 10, 2008, has so far gone on 27 successful trips and has carried 825 tourists. KSTDC is promoting the Golden Chariot in the travel markets in Spain and Germany.

Higher fares

Fares now

Rs 1,35,800 for single occupancy

Rs 98,000 per person for double occupancy

Rs 79,800 per person for triple occupancy

Fares Revised

Rs 1,76,540 per person for single occupancy

Rs 1,26,360 per person for double


Rs 1,03,440 per person for triple occupancy.

KSTDC is in talks with the Kerala and
Tamil Nadu governments to extend
Golden Chariot’s route, covering historic and interesting places in those states, said Menon. “The concept is still in the initial stages and will speak to both the governments,” he said. Nothing has been finalised on the route to be taken in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, he added.