New Delhi, July 19 (IANS) Indian Railways on Friday refuted reports over discontinuation of the 'Garib Rath' Express trains saying there is no such proposal.
In a statement the Railway Ministry said, "It is clarified that there is no proposal to discontinue Garib Rath services on Indian Railways."
The ministry said that there are 26 pairs of Garib Rath services in operation.
"These are very popular services as they facilitate air-conditioned travel at fares which are lower than the normal AC-3 tier fares," it said.
The railways stated that owing to temporary shortage of coaches on Northern Railway, two pairs of weekly trains of Garib Rath services were temporarily operated as Express train services.
The railways have used the rakes of the two Garib Rath Express -- Kathgodam-Jammu Tawi and Kanpur-Kathgodam -- temporarily as Express train services. "However, the Garib Rath services on these two sectors will be restored from August 4," it added.
The train was started in 2006 by then Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav targeting the middle-and lower income classes. The first 'Garib Rath' was flagged off from Bihar's Saharsa to Amritsar in Punjab.
The objective behind the launch was to make AC train travel affordable and economical for middle- and lower-income group passengers.