New Delhi, January 10
Faced with a financial crunch, Indian railways is inventing new ways to increase revenue without a hike in fares. It has readied a plan to brand trains and stations to augment revenues without raising passenger fares or freight rates. You could soon be boarding a ‘Pepsi Rajdhani’ or ‘Coke Shatabdi’ and from a “branded” station at that. Under the new policy, trains will have these type of names.
As per the new policy, a company can buy consolidated media rights for branding the entire train. It can then advertise both inside and outside the bogies, since trains and railway stations are the best locations for publicity. Hoardings and cutouts of various companies could attract lakhs of passengers daily, which would generate income for both railways and companies.
With a poor financial situation, railways have no other alternate except to hike the fares. But this will put more burden on common man besides a hike in passenger fares is ruled out for the time being, given upcoming assembly elections in five states.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been suggesting to think new. Railways is planning ‘Pepsi Rajdhani’ or ‘Coke Shatabdi’ trains to raise the income to around Rs 2,000 crore per annum.