Railways junks proposal to offer massage to passengers

Days after announcing of starting massage services to passengers on board, India Railways on Saturday dropped the proposal after strong criticisms.

Proposal on providing head, neck and foot massages to passengers of 39 trains originating from Indore has been withdrawn, Railways said here.

"Proposal for the introduction of head and/or foot massage services to be provided in the trains originating from Indore was initiated by Ratlam Division of Western Railways. As soon as this proposal came to the notice of higher authorities of Western Railways, it has been decided to withdraw this proposal of starting massage services in trains," the statement said.

A few days ago, newly-elected BJP's Indore MP Shankar Lalwani wrote a letter to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal objecting to the proposal. The MP said that it was against the Indian culture to provide massage services to passengers in the presence of fellow women travellers. Former Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan also opposed the proposal. 

As per the plan, the massage facility was to be made available in 39 trains originating from Indore by end of this month on a pilot basis.

The services had been proposed to be offered into three categories — gold, diamond and platinum with the charges from Rs 100 to Rs 300 for 15 to 20-minute massages.

"Western Railway respects the suggestions given by its consumers and their appropriate suggestions are also implemented from time to time. Western Railways also appreciates the positive suggestions of public representatives, railway consumers, and the public at large," the statement of the ministry said, indicating that it had received negative feedback from passengers as well.

The massage proposal was a part of the railways' scheme whereby zones and divisions have been asked to come out with new and innovative ideas to generate non-fare revenue for the national transporter. Ratlam division of Western Railway zone come up with this innovative idea said the railway officials.

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