INDORE: Passengers travelling through Chittorgarh railway station in Ratlam division are the only ones who enjoy the privilege of being served hot and relatively fresh food as compared to any other station under Western Railway (WR). Despite the ban on usage of LPG gas cylinder at all stations in the seven divisions of Western Railway, only Chittorgarh was given a nod for the same nearly two months ago.
Official sources said that it was due to political pressure that Chittorgarh was given the waiver. Meanwhile, contractors from many cities have demanded a similar clearance with the general manager, WR office, but in vain.
Senior division commercial manager of Ratlam division, Suresh Barmecha told that the nod was given on reviewing grievances put forth by the Chittorgarh MP Dr Girija Vyas and local contractors citing inadequate power supply at the station. “It was a collective decision taken by the Railway Board and general manager, WR office. Four stalls at the station are using gas cylinders who cited that there is no ample means of power (electricity) to heat up the eateries,” added Barmecha.
On asking if it is possible in other stations, he said it is left to the discretion of the Railway Board. Notably, Indore MP Sumitra Mahajan had written with a similar request to the railways last year in December.
Mohammed Sharif, one of the contractors at Chittorgarh said that six stalls have been permitted to use a gas cylinder. “It was due to the efforts of Dr Girija Vyas and contractors that we are able avail the benefit,” he said.
Meanwhile, contractors at the Indore railway station questioned the partiality amid resentment. President of Western Railway Catering Vendor Association, Anil Jain said, “Sale of food products have dipped by nearly 30% as we do not serve them hot. It is a constant demand of passengers. We have even lost the daily passengers, who used to have snacks at the railway station before returning home.”
Another stall manager Sachin Sharma said that it is gross violation of WR rules and despite several demands from politicians and contractors, others stations have not been given permission.