IRCTC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Manipur government to provide better hospitality and tourism services.
Suresh Prabhu-led Indian Railways is focusing on not only providing better railway connectivity to the North-East region of India, but also promoting tourism in the scenic states. In this regard, IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Manipur government to provide better hospitality and tourism services. According to an IRCTC release entails identification of areas of cooperation and drawing up of detailed plans to jointly develop tourism products. There is also a provision to open and manage various catering and hospitality outlets, budget hotels and handicrafts shops at railway as well as non-railway locations.
The MoU also covers setting up of setting up of water vending machines, use of Rail Neer and development of lounges and greeting services for tourists. In addition, both IRCTC and Manipur government will strive to market each other’s products and services through physical outlets and websites. The MoU was signed last week in the presence of IRCTC Chairman and Managing Director AK Manocha and Secretary, Tourism, Government of Manipur, Nidhi Mani Tripathi.
Rail connectivity to North-East is big on the government’s agenda has time and again been reiterated by PM Narendra Modi. In the North East, the Indian Railways has commissioned about 900 kilometres of Broad Gauge in the last two years, leaving only about 50 kilometres Meter Gauge lines to be converted in 2016-17. Recently, MoS for Railways Rajen Gohain said that expansion of rail connectivity in the entire North-East will be top priority. A few days ago, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Sunday laid the foundation stone for the Agartala–Akhaura broad gauge line. The 15.06 kilometre line between India’s Agartala and Bangladesh’s Akhaura is part of the Trans Asian Railway Network. The new line has the potential of substantially shortening the railway connectivity distance between Tripura and Kolkata. Prabhu also laid the foundation stone of the proposed Imphal railway station. He announced commencement of work for the longest rail tunnel in India.