NEW DELHI (Metro Rail & Steel): Indian Railways is all set to revolutionize the travel experience on Vande Bharat Express trains with the initiation of their groundbreaking program, Yatri Seva Anubandh. This innovative scheme aims to not only enrich passenger convenience but also significantly curtail costs for the national transporter. According to a report by ET, the pilot project, encompassing six pairs of Vande Bharat trains, is primed to kick off shortly. Should this pilot phase prove successful, the plan is to extend this initiative to other premium trains in the fleet.
The core objective behind this endeavor is to provide travelers aboard Vande Bharat Express trains with an array of food and beverage options, coupled with enhanced service provisions. This novel approach also strives to streamline Indian Railways’ expenses on housekeeping by consolidating services under a sole provider per train. Moreover, this consolidation will grant the service provider access to diverse revenue streams, such as advertising within the train compartments and the provision of auxiliary services. Under the umbrella of the Yatri Seva Anubandh initiative, passengers can anticipate a host of novel offerings, including concierge services, onboard entertainment, and easy access to travel essentials and accessories. The blueprint emphasizes a performance evaluation framework driven by passenger feedback, ensuring a comprehensive assessment of service standards.
An anonymous senior official familiar with the plan disclosed that the designated service provider will offer food and beverages to passengers at predetermined rates. Additionally, they will handle minor issues like jammed doors, loose latches, or leaking taps using a basic toolkit. “The service provider must ensure complimentary housekeeping services in all coaches and adhere to the menu and tariffs set by Indian Railways for prepaid meals,” affirmed the official. In a bid to participate in this transformative initiative by Indian Railways, companies will vie based on the highest license fee they can offer to the national transporter. To maintain service quality, potential service providers must have garnered a minimum annual gross revenue of Rs 120 crore and employed at least 900 individuals in food and beverage or housekeeping roles during the last financial year.
This strategic move gains significance as the existing scenario on premium trains like Tejas, Rajdhani, Shatabdi, and Vande Bharat involves the allotment of catering, housekeeping, and advertising services to individual contractors. Under the new guidelines, all directives from various stakeholder departments will be governed by fresh regulations for Vande Bharat trains, encompassing Environment and Housekeeping Management, Tourism and Catering, Telecom, Mechanical (Coaching), Passenger Marketing/Commercial, and Non-Fare Revenue.