Fire Safety Focus: Pune Railway Division Prohibits Cooking on Suburban Station Platforms

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Pune, 23rd February 2024: Food vendors operating on the platforms of Pune suburban railway stations are now prohibited from cooking on-site. The new directive dictates that vendors will not have the authorization to prepare food directly on the platforms. Instead, they are permitted to prepare and sell pre-cooked edibles. This decision has been implemented by the railways with a primary focus on safety, aiming to mitigate the risk of fire incidents within the railway stations or their premises.

The Pune Division of Central Railway has decided to prohibit all forms of cooking on the platforms of Pune suburban railway stations. This directive extends to licensed food plazas, fast-food stalls, Jan Ahar canteens, tea stalls, and other food vendors operating on the platforms of Pune, Shivajinagar, Khadki, Dapodi, Kasarwadi, Pimpri, Chinchwad, Akurdi, Dehu Road, Bhegdewadi, Talegaon, Vadgaon, Kamshet, and Malavali stations. However, at stations other than suburban ones, cooking is allowed using electric appliances. The measure is a safety-oriented initiative by the Railways to prevent fire incidents within the railway stations or their premises.

The decision by the Pune Division of Central Railway specifies that cooking will be allowed on platforms where trains other than suburban ones are departing, especially at stations where both suburban and other trains arrive. However, at stations accommodating both types of trains, cooking will be prohibited on the platforms. The Senior Divisional Commercial Manager, Dr Milind Hirve, has issued orders for the immediate initiation of the implementation of this directive. Nevertheless, food vendors have expressed concerns, labelling the rule as detrimental to their businesses. Many vendors and marketers have criticized the regulation, deeming it impractical and potentially harmful to their livelihoods.

Harsha Shah, the President of Railway Passenger Group, has voiced disagreement with the Railway’s decision to prohibit food vendors from cooking on platforms, deeming it as incorrect. Shah argues that the railway authorities are taking inappropriate steps in the name of safety, which may lead to significant inconvenience for passengers. This dissent from a passenger group highlights concerns about the practicality and potential negative impact of the rule on the overall passenger experience.