Railways plans to brand trains and stations to boost revenues: report
You may soon board a Vodafone Shatabdi Express or Thumbs Up Rajdhani Express from a branded station, if the proposed move of the railway ministry materialises.
Facing huge financial crunch, Indian Railways is planning to mop up revenues by providing advertising rights for trains and stations to big corporate honchos.
The proposal comes as the government is making efforts to augment revenue of India's largest public carrier without hiking the passenger fare or frieght rates.
Under 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.
The train branding packages will be offered through bidding in a phased manner, starting with Rajdhani and Shatabdi services, reports Times of India.
"The railways has shunned the earlier approach of selling advertisement rights on a piece-meal basis and is ready with plans to award media rights for the entire train (both inside and outside) and stations on a long-term basis to big corporate players," a senior official told the Times of India.
The proposal is ready and is expected to get railway board's nod next week, reports the daily.
Interestingly, this is not the first time such a move has been proposed. Infact, similar plans were announced during the previous UPA governments, but they did not materialise.
The new policy will offer out-of-home advertising policy and allow monetisation of railway assets by means of advertising. Huge LED screens will come up at stations, platforms and foot overbridges (leading to station areas) for advertising, an official told the daily.