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News Entry# 287103
  
Nov 29 2016 (12:11)  Jan Aahar: Central Railway to hand over ‘Jan Aahar’ to licensee (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
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Posted by: Jayashree ❖ Amita*^  35492 news posts
NAGPUR: Fed up by own staff's lazy attitude, Nagpur division of Central Railway has decided to privatize 'Jan Aahar', its popular food outlet at Platform 1 of Nagpur railway station, along with six food stalls operated across all platforms.
"We are in process of giving Jan Aahar to a private party and the licensee will supply food items at the same rate that railways is selling. The process has started and it will take a few months before tenders are floated after divisional railway manager (DRM) BK Gupta approves it," officials said.
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Aahar was successfully being run by the railways since 2010 after catering business was taken over from Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), a subsidiary of Indian Railways. However, sources said staff crunch and their lacklustre marketing approach were behind move towards appointing a licensee.
"Despite selling popular snacks like idli, aluwada, upma and meals at dirt cheap rate, daily counter sale of Jan Aahar was only around Rs35,000, which is far less that what private licensees revenue figure of around Rs45,000," said officials. They added that even if a private player were appointed, railways doesn't stand to lose as it will get licence fee. Besides, monitoring of hygiene and other aspects will be done by the railways.
In another move, Central Railway has already started appointing licensees for its six stalls that operate across all eight platforms. Of these, three have been already handed over to licensees. As per new catering policy, railways will again hand over catering business at A1, A and B category stations to IRCTC. The decision is expected to be implemented in next six months.
Nagpur being A1 station entire catering business will be given to IRCTC. The Corporation will take over base kitchens at Nagpur and Ballarshah and will also operate at Wardha, Chandrapur, Betul, Amla and other A & B category stations. However, catering at D, E, and F category stations like Katol, Narkhed, Warora and other small stations will continue to remain with the railways. "Once IRCTC takes over, it will either operate itself or may appoint licensees," officials said.
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