A week after the Central Railway banned the sale of plastic-wrapped food items across the suburban railway stations, stall vendors are now improvising and selling fast food that does not need packaging.
“We have started concentrating more on fast food after the ban, which in turn has brought in a lot of variety for passengers,” said Subhash Singh, a staffer at a food vending stall at Kurla station.
Railway authorities made the decision to ban plastic-wrapped items as the wrappers were the primary cause of choked drains along the railway tracks, which led to flooding and disruption of railway services every monsoon.
DNA had earlier reported that about 10,000 to 12,000 bags of waste distilled from the drainage are still found lying around suburban railway stations, waiting to be disposed.
Taking advantage of the ban, food vendors are now selling fast food which does not come with a fixed maximum retail price (MRP). This permits them to quote their own rates and thus gives them a higher margin of profit, which packaged items such as chips, biscuits or chocolates would not do as they cannot be sold at a higher price than the MRP.
Vendors used to sell fast food at their stalls even before the ban, but since packaged eatables were in popular demand, they mostly stocked these items in their stalls. Now vendors are planning on introducing different types of fast food to cater to people’s demands.
However, the new move has not gone down very well with a number of passengers who preferred purchasing packaged food items.
“I always preferred eating biscuits and wafers while travelling as they are hygienic as compared to the fast food sold at the railway stations. We all know the quality of the ingredients and water used by them to prepare the food” said Rashmi Rathod, a media professional who travels to work daily by train.