Indian Railways is on track to develop an additional source of revenue in a creative way. The organization has come up with rail coach restaurants that will be established at several stations and will serve passengers as well as the general public. The West Central Railways was the first to hop on this wagon and released five-year contracts under the non-far revenue (NFR) policy.
The NFR policy ensures that the Railways is adding bulk to their income through various sources other than freight and passenger receipts. Under the five-year contracts, the offeree will be able to open their restaurants in the coaches provided by Indian Railways, but the ownership of the refurbished freights will remain with the railways.
The rail coach restaurants will be made by refurbishing and reviving old coaches, which are on the brink of becoming defunct. These resurrected railway coaches will be established in a 200-square feet area at seven major railway stations under the Jabalpur and Bhopal division of Madhya Pradesh. The restaurants, once set, up will become a source of an additional income of roughly Rs.4.7 crore as non-fair revenue.
The restaurants will be developed in the circulating section of – Bhopal, Itarsi, Jabalpur, Madan Mahal, Rewa, Katni Murwara, and Satna – stations under the Bhopal and Jabalpur divisions, according to a Financial Express report.
Although creative, the rail coach restaurant is not a new idea but has previously been implemented in the city of Asansol, West Bengal.
Christened as ‘Restaurant on Wheels,’ the rail coach restaurant operates in the circulating area of Asansol Railway Station. Asansol MP, Babul Supriyo, inaugurated the first-of-its-kind restaurant on February 26, 2020. The Restaurant on Wheels was developed with two decrepit MEMU coaches as the restaurant’s skeleton.
When it was inaugurated in Asansol, the Restaurant of Wheels was introduced to the railway station with a target of Rs.50 lakh non-fare revenue over a period of five years, mentioned a press release.