?Central railway to work on hygiene and quality of food served at station stalls
?Central railway to work on hygiene and quality of food served at station stalls

Often passengers prefer carrying their own food or buy packaged food rather than buying from stalls opened across railway stations due to hygiene issues.

The Central Railway is planning to launch a pilot project to give a makeover to the 12 stalls, run by private contractors, at the Thane railway station. The 60-odd staff at the 12 stalls, who will sport a new bright colour uniform instead of the present khaki shirt, will also be provided gloves and head caps to ensure hygiene. Plans are also afoot to rework the food menu, and introduce cashless mode of payments at some stalls.

If it's successful, the project is likely to be proposed for being replicated across all the Mumbai suburban railway platforms of the Central Railway. At a meeting with stall owners at Thane station last week, the CR officials briefed them on the makeover plans. The bustling Thane station receives nearly 7lakh footfalls daily and over 2,000 trains passes through it, but the stalls have been receiving poor patronage.

Sanjay Gupta, Chief Commercial Inspector, said, "At present, the railway stalls and canteens are mostly patronized by a certain section only while a majority of commuters hesitate to buy food items here being apprehensive of the quality. We are working towards changing this perception of commuters."

Stall owners say the initiative would also help their business.

Manoj Aggrawal, a stall owner, said, "The first phase involves changing the uniform along with introduction of gloves, caps, etc to ensure hygiene. A plan to install point-of-sale machines and accepting e-wallet payments was also discussed and we are ready to adapt."

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