In a bid to facilitate passengers, now there will be multi-purpose stalls (MPS) at railway stations. These stalls will have miscellaneous items that will satisfy travelling needs of the people, under one roof.
Pursuant to announcement made in 2016-17 budget, the Railway Board announced the policy on September 5, directing all general managers to ask divisional railway managers (DRMs) to prepare a blueprint of the total requirement of MPS platforms and stations.
Such multi-purpose stalls will first come up at A1, A, B and C category stations on priority. The policy will be applicable to existing stalls also but if they don’t want to opt for it, such stalls will be allowed to continue till their agreement term period with railway divisions ends.
“The railway divisions have been asked not to make any new allotment or give extension to any existing stalls or trolleys. All these stalls will be converted into MPS in phased manner. The basic idea is to mop up additional revenue by the railways,” said senior officials.
They added one of the objectives of the new policy is to decongest railway stations by optimum utilization of space on platforms. “Too many stalls at platforms also prove to be hurdle in smooth flow of passengers. MPS will not only solve the purpose to great extent but will also benefit passengers by one-stop purchases,” said officials.
The MPS will include artifacts and items of local and regional importance. It will also include existing items like packaged drinking water, magazines, newspapers, chemist stall items, milk powder and food items.
It shall be mandatory for these stalls to sell books pertaining to Indian culture, values, morals and history. The MPS will also have to sell zonal railway timetable and trains at a glance and other official publications.
Official sources said a blueprint will be prepared with approval of DRM and it will be forwarded to chief commercial managers (CCMs) prior to invitation of bids. Retailers, individuals and self-help groups (SHGs), registered firms will be eligible for bids.
With digitization, the railways have made it mandatory now for the stall owners to keep swipe machines for acceptance of debit and credit cards without charging any additional transaction charge for sale above Rs 100.
Sources said, a committee of CCMs of four zones — Southern Railway, Northern Railway, Eastern Railway, and Western Railway — will prepare a tender document to be executed by all zonal railways and licensees after Railway Board approves it.
Salient Features of The Policy
* Multi-purpose stalls to have all items under one roof.
* DRMs told to prepare blueprint of the MPS and submit proposal to CCMs before bids.
* Retailers, individuals, SHGs, registered firms allowed to be part of the MPS.
* Bids to be invited through e-tendering process only.
* Three-member panel at division level to deal with tendering process.
* The MPS allotment will be for five years only.
* 25% reservation for MPS will be for all reserved categories at A1, A, B & C category stations and 49.50% at D, E, F category stations.
* The policy will be for existing stalls only.