Nation Current Affairs 28 Feb 2018 Attukal special trai ...

Attukal special train sponsor bid flops

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | KRISHNA KUMAR K E
Published Feb 28, 2018, 1:07 am IST
Updated Feb 28, 2018, 1:07 am IST
According to figures, nearly 40, 000 pilgrims travelled in the special trains deployed last year.
Representational image
 Representational image

Kochi: With ticketing revenue failing to meet even basic operation cost, the railways has sought sponsorship for special trains. However, its efforts have drawn a blank. The quotation inviting private parties, business houses and commercial establishments to sponsor any of the seven special trains announced for the ‘Attukal Pongala’ festival was floated on February 22 and the same was uploaded on its website. The reserve price for sponsorship with regard to a single train was fixed at Rs 50,000 – the average cost of operating the service. However, even after a week and only a couple of days left for the festival, not even a single offer came, forcing the railway authorities to approach the temple authorities directly, that too without any success.     

Surprisingly, what prompted the railways to take the initiative was the high incidence of ticketless travel on the day every year, often going undetected due to mass convergence of pilgrims returning home after the ritual. “We’re operating special trains for the convenience of pilgrims. Shockingly,  the past experience reveals that the ticket collection during the day is even below the revenue on  a  normal day. For instance,  the total collection from Thiruvananthapuram a day before Attukal Pongala  (March 11)  in 2017 was Rs 13 lakh while the revenue through ticket sale dipped to Rs 10 lakh. This despite the heavy rush and opening of additional 14 ticket counters,” said a senior official.

 

According to figures, nearly 40, 000 pilgrims travelled in the special trains deployed last year. “If the revenue fails to touch the minimum target, the headquarters won’t allow special trains on festive occasions to meet the increased commuter traffic  in future. Hence,  our bid for sponsorship,” the official said.

The sponsoring party can advertise the brand name in the interior and exterior of the trains. Also,  announcements will be made in every station through which the train passes mentioning the company name before the train number and destination. “They approached us but we don’t have provision for the same right now. We may well consider the same in future,” said Mr V.  Chandrasekharan Pillai, president, Attukal Devaswom.

 

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Location: India, Kerala




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