Representational image of passengers at a railway station | Photo: Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint
Representational image | Photo: Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint
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New Delhi: Days after the Indian Railways decided to stop providing linen sets in trains to cut costs, the All India Railwaymen’s Federation, the biggest railway employees’ association, has asked the national transporter to also do away with pantry cars.

In a letter to Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal last week, the AIRF requested that pantry cars be replaced with coaches, since that would generate greater revenue from passengers. Ministry sources said Goyal has asked the Railway Board to examine this proposal.

Shiv Gopal, secretary of the AIRF, told ThePrint: “Food can be provided by base kitchens which are there at railway stations… the railways does not generate revenue through its kitchen or pantry services anyway.”

A Railway Board official said AIRF’s proposal can be examined since the railways is looking at ways to boost its dwindling revenues.

“This is why the idea to discontinue linen, pillows, bedsheets, etc provided by the railways was also considered,” the official said. “At this stage, there is an urgent need to cut costs, and services that are more a liability than revenue generators can be re-looked at,” the official said.

The official agreed that catering services in trains can easily be provided by train-side vending, static catering units at stations en route, and by e-catering services.


Also read: None of Railway Claims Tribunal’s 20 benches has a judicial member, technical post vacant in 6


‘Stop indiscriminate outsourcing’

In its letter, the AIRF has also said that “indiscriminate outsourcing” of services should be curtailed, and all railway PSUs should work from railway buildings, not separate offices.

The railways has been reeling under massive losses, and in June, its financial commissioner had written to all zones, calling for a freeze on the creation of new posts, removal of retired and re-engaged staff, shifting outsourced activities to corporate social responsibility funds, moving ceremonial functions to digital platforms, and an immediate review and possible closure of uneconomic branch lines, among other measures.

Last week, Goyal told the Parliament that traffic revenue of the Indian Railways had fallen by 42.3 per cent between March and August over the corresponding period last year, as a result of passenger services being impacted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


Also read: Install automatic doors on Mumbai locals, other suburban trains, NITI Aayog tells Railways


 

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9 Comments Share Your Views

9 COMMENTS

  1. Yes cut costs. Remove the previlege ticket orders, and free travel passes to Ll the employees and their families. They are being paid salaries as per other government employees then why this previlege

  2. Even better – do away with the extra flab hanging around taxpayers neck – the railways. Privatize it completely like the US. Government should only be in the business of laying tracks, signalling, operations and stations infrastructure, and collecting rent from private operators who should run the railways. No longer this privileged, inefficient grossly incompetent sarkaari organisation should be fed on our taxes.

  3. Though the idea is not bad, railways should ensure good quality and reasonable quantity varieties of foods in both veg and non veg for upcountry travelling passengers are always available, regardless midnight, predawn or afternoon.

  4. The Railways must invest in the latest technologies like data sciences and AI to help it optimize its resource utilization and maximize revenue generation.
    A decent VRS scheme for trimming the vast workforce is an immediate necessity. Also, it needs to turn to automation technologies for most of its operational activities and lessen dependence on manual labour.

  5. A GOOD IDEA !! LET THERE BE STSTION VENDOR WHICH WILL ENCOURAGE UNEMPLOYED YOUTH AND ALSO SERVE PACKED FOOD INSTEAD OF THALI SYSTEM IN PANTRY CAR.ALSO, THE PANTRY CAR HAS MOST OF THE VIRUSES AND THEY BEHAVE BADLY AND CHARGE INCREASED RATE FROM THE PASSENGER.ANOTHER SUGGESSTION MAY BE TAKEN FOR CONSIDERATION…REDUCE THE NUMBER OF STOPPAGE OF SUPER FAST TRAINS WHICH ALSO REDUCE THE INCREASING COST !!!

  6. First get rid of all the railway employees. Give jobs to young, earnest, hard working people on contract basis. Hire those who show extraordinary capacity to serve the public into permanent positions. The rest must be paid on performance.

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