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Affordable Janata Khana available at 8 rly stations in Ferozepur division

A packet costs Rs 15 | Contains 7 puris, vegetable & pickle

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Tribune News Service

Neeraj Bagga

Amritsar, May 4

Pizzas, burgers, black forest cakes and pastries have now made space on the shelves of eateries for the affordable Janata Khana at the Amritsar railway station. Around a year after the issuance of a circular asking all vendors selling eatables at railway stations to provide Janata Khana, the Ferozepur division ensured that they sold economy meals.

A packet of Rs 15 Janata Khana has 175 grams of puri (seven puris), 150 grams of vegetable (Alloo di sabji) and pickle. Another option is available at Rs 20 in which a 300 ml water bottle is included with ready to eat Janata Khana. Apart from this, arrangements for cooking economy meals have been made at the designated units of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation.

Railway officials said Janata Khana was available for passengers at Jammu Tawi, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Pathankot, Jalandhar City, Jalandhar Cantt, Shaheed Captain Tushar Mahajan in Udhampur, and Ferozepur Cantt railway stations. Apart from food, passengers can also buy other eatables from vends at the railway stations.

Vendors said selling food at meagre amount of Rs 15 was not economically viable as cooking cost was high. They recalled when Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee had launched Janata Khana at Rs 10 per packet while presenting the 2009-10 Railway Budget. After a gap of around 14 years, the Railway authorities re-launched Janata Khana with only Rs five per packet hike. They pleaded that the price hike was insufficient as cooking on LPG-run stoves was already prohibited at the railway station. In such a situation, they had to arrange puris and vegetable from outside, which increased their input costs. They sought a reasonable hike in the cost per packet to successfully run the scheme.

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