Astha Circuit Special or Bharat Darshan Tourist Trains
Indian Railways is operating Astha Circuit Special or Bharat Darshan Tourist Trains and State Special Trains for promotion of religious tourism across India. Astha Circuit Trains were announced in Rail Budget, 2016.
Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) inaugurated the trip of Astha Circuit Trains on 17.02.2017 for Guwahati covering Kolkata, Bhubaneshwar and Puri. So far 10 Astha Circuit Trains are operated. IRCTC with collaboration of State Governments is operating State Special Trains for senior citizens (60 years and above) of the respective States. So far, State Special Trains were operated for the State of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Odisha, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh covering important pilgrim/religious destinations of India. Currently, State Special Trains are being operated for Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Rajasthan.
Astha Circuit Trains and State Special Trains are operated by IRCTC. The cost of trip for Astha Circuit Trains is paid by passenger itself at D900/- + GST per passenger per day, whereas, the cost of trip for State Special Trains is borne by the respective State Government and the beneficiaries are selected by the respective State Governments.
IRCTC provides all inclusive services to passengers during the tour of Astha Circuit Trains and State Special Trains. It includes rail and road transportation, accommodation (dharamshala/dormitory), sightseeing, meals, accidental insurance etc. In addition, as per the instruction of State Government, passengers of State Special Trains are also provided additional requirements like traveler’s kit which includes cap, toothbrush and paste, hair oil, comb, shampoo etc. The entire cost of value added services is borne by concerned State Governments.
Charging Principles and Composition of Astha Circuit Special or Bharat Darshan Tourist Trains
- Sleeper Class Mail/Express fare for GSCN coaches and for 3 AC Coach the fare for 3 AC shall be levied on telescopic basis for entire journey for the carrying capacity of the train. This amount shall be escalated by 20%. No concession, including senior citizen concession, will be allowed and every passenger will be charged full fare, including children, as per carrying capacity or as per actual capacity, whichever second class Mail/Express fare on telescopic basis, escalated by 20%, for entire journey. Pantry Car will be charged at 50% of normal rate. In case luggage portion is utilized for booking luggage, normal charges would be applicable for the entire trip, otherwise the luggage portion should be locked. No other charge will be levied additionally.
- The composition of Bharat Darshan/ Astha circuit trains will be 15 coaches comprising 12 GSCN + 1 WCB + 2 SLRs. IRCTC will be provided with one additional 3 AC coach whenever there is demand and availability. All the coaches shall be utilized by IRCTC.
- The passenger tariff of Bharat Darshan/Astha Cirucuit trains will be in the range of Rs.800-900 per person per day in Sleeper Class and Rs.1100/- per person per day in 3 AC class respectively.
- There shall be 4 rakes for operation of Bharat Darshan / Astha Circuit trains.
- The charging principles and composition of Bhart Darshan / Astha Circuit trains will be valid till 31.03.2019.
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