Kolkata (KOAA): In its revised guidelines, the Railway Board has approved the setting up of executive lounges at three stations — Howrah, Sealdah and New Jalpaiguri — in Bengal. The lounges will come up within the ticketed area and as close to the main platform as possible.
“The AC lounges will provide services like wash and change, Wi-Fi, television, newspaper/book stand, buffet services, concierge services for pre-departure and post-arrival assistance to passengers on payment. The lounges will be set up by IRCTC, at its own cost. It shall supervise/control the same while the ownership will remain with the Railways. However, service provider may be deputed for specific activities on need basis,” the Railway Board circular states.
The executive lounges will be extremely helpful for business travellers and passengers on transit. For instance, passengers arriving to Howrah or Sealdah by Rajdhani Expresses in the morning may wish to attend a meeting or conference directly. Instead of going to a hotel, they can choose to freshen up and change at the lounges and grab a bite before leaving for work. The executive lounge at Delhi that was set up as a pilot project is receiving good patronage, an IRCTC official said.
“We believe that an executive lounge at New Jalpaiguri will be very popular, particularly among tourists. New Jalpaiguri is the transit point for tourists on their way to Sikkim, Darjeeling or the Dooars. The trains reach New Jalpaiguri in the morning and tourists want to proceed towards their destinations from the station itself without wasting a day or even a few hours at Siliguri. The biggest problem, particularly during summer, is that passengers don’t have a place to freshen up after the overnight journey,” an official said.
The lounges will be operated on a 60:40 revenue sharing basis between IRCTC and the Railways.