IRCTC officials seal food stalls at Tatanagar station. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Jamshedpur, April 14: Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) sealed four food kiosks at the Tatanagar station today.
Following an order from IRCTC, the officials of the catering department at Tatanagar station started closing the food stalls on platform 1 forcibly this morning.
But they faced resistance from local leaders and the helpers working in these stalls.
“The IRCTC office in Calcutta issued an order to close six stalls out of the existing 13. We started the closure process today but helpers accompanied by local leaders started protesting. Hence we had to take the help of police,” said R. Mishra, the senior executive of catering services, Tatanagar station.
According to Mishra, the order for closing the food stalls was issued as IRCTC has appointed Nestlé on contract to run the stalls as a part of the outsourcing initiative.
Later, four food stalls were sealed by the IRCTC officials.
The closing of stalls came after the allotment of three food stalls to Nestle. A team from IRCTC, New Delhi, had visited the Tatanagar station in March.
“The team had instructed closure of all the stalls as the helpers (or vendors) had not been medically examined since 2006. According to rules, helpers working in railway food stalls are required to undergo medical examination every year,” said Mishra.
The helpers working in the IRCTC food stalls at the Tatanagar station alleged that they have not been paid their commission for the past two years.
“We are running the stalls at Tatanagar for the past two years since the changeover took place. The IRCTC has not paid our commission for the past two years and now it is closing the food stalls. We spent 10 years of our life working in these stalls and if they are closed, we would be left unemployed,” said a helper at Tatanagar, requesting anonymity.