Published: 03rd March 2022
What The FAQ: Why is the Indian Railways letting brands add their names to station names for a price?
Even though government subsidiaries and business houses will be allowed to add their brand name or logo to the station name, it will only be restricted to the display
The Indian Railways has decided to let brands tag their names along with station names across the country. This move comes as a part of the Railways' attempt to increase non-fare revenue — earn revenue without hiking the fare.
Here's how it will change the names of railway stations — but with a few exemptions.
What's the rule?
Even though government subsidiaries and business houses will be allowed to add their brand name or logo to the station name, it will only be restricted to the display. The Railways, at no point, will announce the name of the station adding the prefix or suffix, neither will the brand name be added to the websites or route maps. It will strictly be restricted to the display. The policy said that co-branding will not be allowed on railway tickets, websites, route maps and in announcements through the public address systems.
How should the display look?
The names or the logos of brands should be smaller than the name of the station and the Indian Railway logo. “Unlike Metros and other transport systems, we have a heritage to take care of as far as the names of our stations is concerned. So we are treading a fine line. It is a new policy we are trying out purely for advertising revenue in order to monetise assets,” a senior Railway Ministry official told the Indian Express.
What's the deal?
The zonal railways will fix the fee on par with the prevailing local circle rates. Each zone will have the freedom to bid names of stations — both individually and as clusters. The contract will be for three years. As part of the deal, the company that wins the bid will get a prominent space in station circulating areas for its advertisements.
As the officials said, they are mindful of not losing the heritage of the railways. So, heritage station names have been kept out of the purview of this policy. The policy also says that names of persons, martyrs, political leaders and so on cannot be added to the station names.