To facilitate pilgrims arriving in big numbers during the Kumbh Mela in 2019, the railways has proposed running 800 special trains from various stations of Allahabad district, an official has said. These trains would be an add-on to the regular trains run by the North Central Railway (NCR).
PRO NCR Amit Malviya said, “Six special trains will come to Allahabad from several railway zones of the country for pilgrims and tourists participating in the Kumbh Mela.” He said the railways planned to operate four to five special trains to ferry 5,000 Pravasi Bhartiyas from Allahabad to New Delhi. They will be in Allahabad to be the part in the Kumbh Mela after attending the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas at Varanasi.
The Pravasi Bhartiyas will be taken to New Delhi for Republic Day celebrations. He also stated branding of the Kumbh Mela will be done on 1,400 coaches of special trains and the originating trains of the NCR by vinyl wrapping, to take the message about the religious fair across the country.
The coaches will have colorful and attractive pictures of Kumbh Mela and landmark structures of Allahabad. “The railways have given space for ‘Paint My City’ initiative at its stations and residential colonies which is another big branding exercise for the Kumbh Mela,” Malviya said.
He also stated that to promote local culture, the North Central Zone Cultural Centre (NCZCC), under the Ministry of Culture, will be co-opted to put up stalls in passenger enclosures showcasing the art, culture, and heritage of Allahabad and surrounding regions.
“Four big enclosures to house about 10,000 pilgrims have been built at Allahabad Junction railway station. These will have vending stalls, water booths, and ticket counters, LCD TVs, public address system, CCTV cameras and separate toilets blocks for men and women. Similar passenger enclosures have also been built at other stations,” the PRO said.