New Delhi: The Indian Railways has brought a good news for the pilgrims who were planning to visit Prayagraj during Kumbh Mela, 2019. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday announced that the government has decided to do away with the fair surcharge.
Travellers from across the country (and the world) can enjoy a railway journey for a price of as low as Rs 5. “In view of the religious beliefs of pilgrims and for promoting tourism, the central government has decided to abolish the fair surcharge being imposed by the Railways, which will provide relief to passengers coming to Kumbh and other such fairs,” Goyal said.
Goyal also released a banner with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image advertising the train fares for Kumbh Mela 2019. In the poster, he announced that cheapest train tickets for the mail and express trains have been set at just Rs 5.
Tickets for sleeper coaches in regular, mail and express trains have been priced at Rs 10 while fares for AC chaircar and AC third class will begin at Rs 20. Second AC or AC 2-tier (2A) train tickets are being offered at Rs 30 and for first class AC the tickets are available at just Rs 40.
The Ardh Kumbh in Prayagraj will be held in January this year. The Uttar Pradesh government has launched a one-stop travel solution portal for pilgrims and tourists.
About 800 special trains are proposed to be run during the Kumbh Mela from various stations of Allahabad district for the pilgrims coming to the Kumbh Mela. These trains will be in addition to the regular ones that are run by the North Central Railway (NCR).
The railways has planned to operate four to five special trains for transporting 5,000 ‘Pravasi Bhartiyas’ from Allahabad to New Delhi, who will go to Varanasi to participate in the ‘Pravasi Bhartiya Divas’, and will go to Allahabad from Varanasi to participate in the Kumbh Mela.
The railways will use technology, including artificial intelligence (AI), in a big way to tackle the massive rush of passengers to this holy city during the mela, NCR General Manager Rajeev Choudhury said at a press briefing on Wednesday.
Railways has commissioned 41 projects at a cost of Rs 700 crore for the Kumbh Mela that will begin in Allahabad from January next year, Choudhury said. The railways is preparing to handle around 33-35 lakh pilgrims to Allahabad during the six days of the holy bath during the mela.
NCR, Allahabad, has also launched a mobile application titled ‘Rail Kumbh Seva Mobile App’. This app will help in providing critical and valuable information to the devotees, tourists and other passengers who will be visiting the Allahabad during the mela period. Earlier this month, the UNESCO recognised Kumbh Mela as an “intangible cultural heritage of humanity” and held up as the world’s largest peaceful gathering of pilgrims.