Visakhapatnam-Araku Valley vistadome tourists not happy with return journey
By Express News Service | Published: 19th May 2017 05:12 AM |
VISAKHAPATNAM: Despite being launched amid a huge fanfare, the response from the tourists to the vistadome coaches from Vizag to Araku Valley, the first-of-its-kind in the country, has been lukewarm.
Officials say that the summer heat is keeping the tourists away. Not many tourists are opting for the return journey as the train is always is behind schedule and the passengers do not get to enjoy the view once it gets dark.
The 40-seat coach, introduced on April 19, is linked to the Vizag-Kirundul passenger which leaves Vizag station in the morning and in return journey, it starts at 4 pm at Araku. Many tourists are not willing to pay Rs 665 per head for one journey and also felt that there should be some fare concession for the children.
According to Railway sources, there is 100 per cent occupancy from Vizag. However, there is only 30 per cent occupancy in the return journey from Araku which is at 4.10 pm. As the train leaves Araku in the evening, tourists find no view of the scenic beauty.
“We booked tickets for both the journeys. Though the journey from Vizag was a good experience, return journey is delayed for hours and after sunset we couldn’t find anything except areas in darkness. At least they should change the train timings so that tourists from Araku can have good experience,” said Srinivasa Rao, a tourist from Kadapa.
According to sources, railway officials are planning a special train with the vistadome coaches. While the ticket cost is Rs 665, they are holding talks to include pantry food in the ticket fare, so that the passengers can get food for free while travelling in this coach. This might be done after the second coach is also attached to the train.
“As of now, the passenger occupancy is good, so we have no plans to reduce the fare,” said Mukul Saran Mathur, the divisional railway manager.