By Anand Singh
Varanasi, Feb 16 | Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday flagged off the third train operated by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) between his parliamentary constituency Varanasi and Madhya Pradesh’s Indore on Sunday afternoon.
Modi flagged off the third IRCTC operated train Kashi Mahakal Express via video conferencing from Varanasi, where he is all set to launch 36 projects worth Rs 1,057 crore.
The Prime Minister is on a day visit to his parliamentary constituency.
Earlier, the IRCTC has successfully launched two Tejas Express trains on New Delhi-Lucknow and Mumbai-Ahmedabad routes.
The new Kashi Mahakal Express will connect three places — Jyotirlinga-Omkareshwar (near Indore in Madhya Pradesh), Mahakaleshwar (Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh) and Kashi Vishwanath (Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh).
Rajani Hasija, Director of IRCTC, told IANS a third private train will also connect industrial and educational hub of Indore, and Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh.
She said the train will begin its commercial run from February 20.
“The Kashi Mahakal Express will operate three days in a week and it will be a bi-weekly service through the Sultanpur-Lucknow route and a weekly service via the Prayagraj route,” Hasija said.
Elaborating on the two routes from which the train will pass every week, she said, “Once the new train starts its regular run from this week, the Varanasi-Indore Kashi Mahakal Express will depart from Varanasi at 2.45 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday to reach Indore at 9.40 a.m. on Wednesday and Friday.
Similarly, the train will start from Indore at 10.55 a.m. every Wednesday and Friday and will reach Varanasi next morning at 06.00 a.m.. This train will have stoppages at Ujjain, Sant Hirdaram Nagar, Bina, Jhansi, Kanpur and Sultanpur stations in both directions.
Meanwhile, Kashi Mahakal Express will be a weekly service via Prayagraj route.
She said, “Varanasi-Indore Kashi Mahakal Express will depart from Varanasi at 3.15 p.m. every Sunday to reach Indore at 9.40 a.m. the next day. Indore-Varanasi Express will depart from Indore at 10.55 a.m. every Monday and reach Varanasi at 5 a.m. the next day.
“This train will halt at Ujjain, Sant Hirdaram Nagar, Bina, Jhansi, Kanpur and Allahabad stations in both directions,” she said.
Explaining the fares of the Kashi Mahakal Express, Hasija said, “Kashi Mahakal Express will follow a dynamic fare structure like the other two Tejas Express trains.”
One-way journey from Varnasi to Indore in Kashi Mahakal Express will cost Rs 1,951 inclusive of four meals.
According to IRCTC officials, Indore-Varanasi Kashi Mahakal Express will be the first private train that will run overnight and for a comfortable long distance journey, the train will feature a host of facilities. IRCTC will serve vegetarian food, housekeeping services, on-board security services and bedrolls.
The IRCTC officials said that passengers will also get complementary insurance of Rs 10 lakh.
The train will have an advance reservation period of 120 days and will only have the general and foreign tourist quotas. The current booking will be available to the passengers on the platform itself after preparation of first chart, four hours to five minutes before the scheduled departure of the train.
(Anand Singh can be reached at email@example.com)