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Deadline over, vendors carry on cooking at platform

CHANDIGARH: The deadline set by Ambala railway division to make the station cooking- free lapsed on Sunday but the vendors at Chandigarh railway station, it seems, are finding it hard to give up on gas stoves.
The deadline was set in compliance with recent orders issued by railways headquarters in New Delhi, instructing authorities to ensure that all stations falling under the division be made cooking-free. A senior official at Ambala said, All stall owners were given a deadline of one month. They were advised to install automatic vending machines (AVM) for tea and coffee and hot cases for food items. Since it has been decided that cooking would be away from tracks, vendors could be allotted space for cooking purpose, if they choose, he added.
Railway officials said, once the deadline passes, surprise checks would be conducted to stop the use of LPG stoves and whether vendors are sticking to Maximum Retail Price (MRP) norms.
Rajat Gupta, a Delhi-bound passenger, said, Once vendors start following the order the quality of food served may get better. Also, it will reduce the chances of untoward incidents.
Nobody wants to eat food cooked at the station as it is unhygienic. If it comes sealed in a pack then I believe more people would want to buy it, he added. A tea-stall owner Vipin said, The new instructions would mean extra expenditure for me. I would have to shut down my stall here as I can not afford to buy an AVM and hot cases. Also, railways authorities will charge a hefty amount for renting cooking space.
The instructions were part of the new plans to make railway stations congestion-free as well as safe and secure. Almost two months ago, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation ( IRCTC) handed over all the catering services to Indian Railways to ensure proper hygiene and food quality standards.
SOURCE - TIMES OF INDIA

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