The earlier threatened luxury train project of Punjab resumed its journey on the right track as the railway ministry finally made changes essential for the project to embark on. The welcome gesture has lined way for designing and manufacturing luxury coaches of the train that could be Punjab's reply to the 'Palace of Wheels' of Rajasthan. However, the delay has helped in modifying the plans. Now an open-air deck would accompany the coaches and will have a spa, gym, game room and health club.
Geetika Kalha, principal secretary Tourism Punjab, stated that the train would be a great hit amongst the tourists as it will cover popular destinations, including the religious places of Punjab. The project had hit a barrier at the initial stage with operational costs, running up to Rs 20 lakh per trip, fetching a piece of disagreement between the tourism department and the railway authorities. The train would start from Delhi, covering destinations like Anandpur Sahib, Amritsar, Patiala, Pathankot, Ambala, Kurukshetra, Kangra, Jaipur and Agra.
Intended for well heeled tourists, the train will cover most distances at night so that tourists can check out the places during the daytime. Due to mid-course policy changes, there is a rise in the cost of about Rs. 20 crores. Earlier, the train was estimated to be operationalized at Rs 30 crore but now the cost has escalated to Rs 50 crore. The sources in the tourism department disclosed that changes have been made in the agreement and it has been decided that the operational cost will be recuperated in phases.