New Delhi: The Railway Board has rolled out an order to make the mode of payment for the caterers completely cashless from August 1 across all the railway stations throughout the nation. The vendors will now be obliged to use only digital mode of payment, if they fail to do so a fine worth Rs 10,000 to Rs 1,00,000.
The Railway Board has issued a statement regarding this to all zonal railways and IRCTC on May 19. It says that it is mandatory for the vendors to have portals of digital mode of payments like UPI, Paytm, Point of Sale (POS) machines, and swipe machines for digital payment.
Apart from stalls, the mode of cashless payment will be applicable to food carts, restaurants, etc. The railway authorities have also said that this will reduce the overcharging on fixed price for any product. The railway passengers will also get the authority to file complains in writing against the sale of substandard items, food of expiry dates, etc.
Currently, railway passengers are unable to register complaints as the digital mode of payment is not yet integrated, told the railway authorities. The cashless mode of payment will ensure that the passengers get fresh food at the optimal price. According to estimates, there are around 30,000 stalls and more carts at 7000 railway stations. There are also 289 big stalls of IRCTC at Janahar, Food Plaza-Restaurant, and Railway Stations.
The Railway Board had already made the cashless mode of payment mandatory within the trains four years ago. They have also provided with a system of no bill-no payment. Now the Railway Board is reluctant to implement the same system on the railway station.
However, as reported by The Statesman, President of Railway Catering Licensee Welfare Association, Ravindra Gupta has termed this implementation of cashless system impractical. His argument is that this scheme is successful on the stations from where trains start their departure. However, it is not possible on stations where the trains make a stoppage for a couple of minutes. The internet signals are also weak at remote stations.