Indian Railways is planning to introduce special tourist trains to promote tourism in the not-so-well explored, but extremely beautiful places in the northeastern states of India. Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has initiated talks with the tourism departments and corporations of the states. Last month, IRCTC signed an MoU with the Manipur government to provide the tourists with better hospitality and services to boost tourism. The MoU states, “Both parties are desirous of working together to provide improved hospitality and tourism services to their customers by making joint use of their capabilities and facilities, development and promotion of any other products and services.”
Rajen Gohain, minister of state for railways chaired a meeting with senior IRCTC officials, Railways officials and state government representatives from northeast states and discussed ways in which IRCTC and Indian Railways can start special tourist trains to improve tourism in north-eastern states. The focus of Narendra Modi government on northeast is evident from the fact that railways and roadways projects connecting northeastern states have been expedited. While before 2014, very few states were connected to railways, today railways has reached many of the Northeastern states. Various new projects have been sanctioned and the older ones expedited.
Since northeastern part of our country is amazingly beautiful with all the statesÂ Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal, Tripura Sikkim and Assam being natural treasures rich in scenic beauty, fauna and flora, the places have a huge potential for tourism. Due to lack of connectivity, this huge potential has not been utilised to the maximum. A boost in tourism will not only generate revenues, but also provide much needed jobs to the local people and further strengthen the integration. It seems that the days of northeast being ignored by successive governments has come to an end. “Achhe din” lies ahead for the northeastern states.