Central Railway Enforces Ban on Cooking Food at Platforms for Safety

by Ella

Mumbai: In response to a recent incident where an induction stove ignited at a food stall in Byculla station, the Central Railway (CR) has announced a ban on cooking activities on railway platforms to prioritize safety. Consequently, food vendors are prohibited from bringing hot plates, induction stoves, or any other electric cooking appliances onto the station premises for snack preparation.

CR officials have emphasized the need for a menu rethink that avoids on-platform food preparation while underscoring that food stalls at railway stations play a crucial role in providing local train passengers with affordable and decent food options.


Previously, food stall vendors employed gas stoves for cooking, a practice that ceased in August 2018 when the transition to electric stoves was made.


A circular issued in this regard states, “According to the policy guidelines, there should be no cooking on platforms at suburban stations. Catering licensees under your jurisdiction should be instructed to refrain from cooking on platforms. No equipment related to cooking should be allowed in stalls/trolleys in suburban stations (not even electric stoves or induction). Any violation should be immediately highlighted so that necessary action can be initiated.”


This decision follows a minor fire incident that occurred at a food stall on September 22 at Byculla station when an induction electric stove caught fire but was swiftly extinguished using fire extinguishers. The CR promptly issued a circular to all station managers and commercial inspectors on the same day regarding this matter.


Despite the ban, business at these food stalls appeared uninterrupted, with commuters continuing to enjoy food. Stall staff continued to use electric stoves, fryers, and induction equipment to prepare and cook food.

Food stall owners on Central Railway expressed that commuters favor hot and warm food items such as bread pakora, kachori, vada, samosa, flat puri, and others that require frying. These items are typically stored in glass caskets on the counter, while the electric stoves are utilized to heat and cook ragda, a pulse-based dish.

The decision to implement this ban reflects the railway authorities’ commitment to passenger safety and the ongoing efforts to strike a balance between safety measures and catering to commuters’ demands for hot and fresh food options.



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