Is Indian Railways Swiss dream to boost Kashmir tourism over?

As Kashmir remains on boil from past one year, a Swiss dream to boost the dying tourism industry of the Valley is unlikely to come true in near future.
Is Indian Railways Swiss dream to boost Kashmir tourism over?
File Photo

As Kashmir remains on boil from past one year, a Swiss dream to boost the dying tourism industry of the Valley is unlikely to come true in near future.

Indian Railways has decided to reassess the idea of introducing the super-luxury glass roof top coaches on the scenic 135 kilometer Banihal-Baramulla rail line in the wake of recent militant attacks and troubled law and order situation in Kashmir.

Inspired by the Switzerland's glass topped trains, the government of India has worked out a plan to attract tourists from across the world through this super-luxury glass roof top coach service. 

According to sources in the Union Railways Ministry the project received a major setback following the killings of 7 Amarnath pilgrims this month.

"Decision on deploying the trans-view tourist coach on the Kashmir line has not been taken at this juncture," Railways Board Member (Traffic) Mohd Jamshed said.

However,  the ministry is now exploring all possibilities to put this service on Jammu-Katra route.

Also, Railway has been considering plans to deploy it on the Araku Valley near Vishakhapatnam. Goa and Kerala are some of the other options, which are being now considered instead of Kashmir. 

Two of these four high-end coaches have been readied in which opalescent roof glass windows can be made opaque or transparent through centrally controlled electrical switches.

Third such coach is in final stage of completion and is expected to roll out of the Chennai-based Integral Coach Factory this month.

With chairs that can rotate, extra leg space, and high-tech infotainment systems, such coaches have been manufactured for the first time in India at an estimated cost of about 4 crore.

Manufacture costs of the LHB-design coaches currently run on the Rajdhani and Shatabdi routes are estimated at approximately Rs. 2 crore a piece.

First of these coaches was deployed in the Araku Valley this April.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Greater Kashmir
www.greaterkashmir.com