The Nilgiri Mountain Railway from Mettupalayam to Ooty has been out of service for 8 months due to the Coronavirus. The colour of the mountain train has gone viral on social media, with photos of the mountain train being completely transformed into private and the mountain train service is completely privatized.
The controversy also erupted when a private company operated a mountain train and charged Rs 3,000 per person. The fare has gone up so much because of the privatization of the railway service.
There were objections from various regions that there would be a situation where the mountain train journey price ranged from 400 to 2,500 to 12,000 would have to be paid. However, the Southern Railway has denied reports that the Nilgiri Mountain Railway service has been handed over to the private sector.
It is a false record that the Nilgiris Mountain Railway (NMR) is privately owned. According to the policy of the Railway Department, the Railway Department will operate a train if an individual pays for a train at full tariff rate (FTR) for a group or for arranging a tour or for a wedding. This is also called a chartered trip. The railways have run many chartered trips like this before.
The trip was operated on such a chartered trip on December 5 and 6 at the request of a private company. To say that NMR has been privatized is a misnomer.
This has nothing to do with a chartered trip or the regular NMR service of the railways. The regular services of the Railways have been suspended in view of Covid-19. It will be operated on the basis of existing tariffs for the general public after obtaining the proper permission to operate it, ”the Southern Railway said.