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Western Railway Withdraws Controversial Proposal to Offer Massages to Passengers Onboard Trains

As per the plan, the massage facility was to be made available in 39 trains originating from Indore, including Dehradun-Indore Express (14317), New Delhi-Indore Intercity Express (12416) and Indore-Amritsar Express (19325).

PTI

Updated:June 15, 2019, 8:35 PM IST
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Western Railway Withdraws Controversial Proposal to Offer Massages to Passengers Onboard Trains
Representative image.

New Delhi: New Delhi/Mumbai, Jun 15 (PTI) Mumbai-headquartered Western Railway Saturday said it had withdrawn a proposal to provide foot and head massages to passengers on board 39 trains originating from Indore in Madhya Pradesh, a senior official said.

Indore is part of Ratlam division of Western Railway.

In a press release issued here, WR Chief Spokesperson Ravinder Bhakar said, "The proposal for introduction of head and/or foot massage services to be provided in the trains originating from Indore station was initiated by Ratlam Division of Western Railway."

"As soon as this proposal came to the notice of higher authorities of Western Railway, it had been decided to withdraw this proposal of starting massage services in trains," the statement said.

The proposal had been opposed by newly-elected Indore Lok Sabha MP Shankar Lalwani and outgoing Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, both of whom questioned the appropriateness of the proposal.

"What arrangements will be made to provide this facility given that the service would throw up some questions regarding the safety and comfort of passengers, especially that of women passengers," Mahajan had asked.

On June 10, Lalwani had written a letter to the Railway Ministry on the issue, saying it would not be appropriate to provide massage to passengers on board, especially in the presence of women.

"Is providing these kind of services in front of women in accordance with the principles of Indian culture? Providing passengers medical aid, doctors are important for the railways not these standardless services in my opinion," Lalwani had written.

After Lalwani's letter, Ratlam Railway Divisional Manager R N Sunkar had clarified that the service would not include a "full body massage" but only head and foot massages.

The railways will ensure that the facility will not make passengers feel uncomfortable, he had claimed.

According to railway officials, the proposal was part of an initiative to garner revenue from non-fare segments.

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