Passengers looking forward to arriving at Ujjain and Indore railway stations and tasting the famous ‘poha-sev’ of Malwa are in for a disappointment. Officials of the Western Railway headquarters last week ordered a ban on its sale at railway stations.
Sources in Western Railway said poha (flattened rice) was not among the list of food items which can be sold at railway stations and this discrepancy was noticed during the tour of officials from the headquarters on Thursday.
The sudden move surprised vendors who have been selling poha for many years at stations falling under the Ratlam division of Western Railway.
The move has also been unpopular with the public.
“Poha is not only affordable but also a healthy option for breakfast. If there is some technicality involved, the Railways should sort out the matter,” said Suraj Khatri, a frequent traveller.
The Zonal Railway Users Consultative Committee has written to Western Railway general manager asking him to revoke the order. The letter pointed out that poha is a staple breakfast item of the region and as long as it was being made hygienically, there was no reason to ban its sale.
Committee member Jagmohan Verma said the panel has urged the Western Railway to immediately include poha in the scheduled list of food items.
Western Railway (Ratlam) public relations officer Jitendra Kumar Jayant could not be contacted for comment.
Opposition against the railway’s move to stop selling poha is gaining ground with comedian Rajiv Nema, who has more than 20,000 followers on Facebook, posting a video on YouTube to register his protest. A few months ago, Nema had also performed a rap song on poha which went viral on social media.