It is a common sight on Indian Railways to see hawkers board at every station and sell a range of products, mostly food items, to passengers. These products often were of questionable quality and came from a largely unregulated market.
The Railways have now moved to make this a regulated service, where local vendors will be able to receive permits for their businesses and legally sell their products to the people onboard. Officials have also ensured that the services would not interrupt passenger movement and will be providing the vendors with carts and kiosks specifically designed for this purpose.
One Station One Product Policy
One Station One Product' was an initiative announced in the Union Budget 2022-23 with the objective to encourage the sale of indigenous products and crafts by providing them an exposure through display spaces at the railway stations. Additionally, the Railways would also be issuing the permits to vendors who would like to sell their goods onboard.
The vendors would be provided with a designer cart or a kiosk with wheels and inbuilt storage space, to put their products on display. Each cart has been designed in collaboration with the Ahmedabad-based National Institute of Design, keeping in mind the factor that vendors require storage space for their products and passenger's require the space to move around freely.
Each station would provide a boost to one local product, which could range from food products, handicrafts, household items, to even decorative products that are exclusive to the state. So hereafter, the passengers would be able to view a lot of authentic and locally sourced products, including dhoklas and fafdas at Ahmedabad station to Channapatna toys at Srirangapatna.
The Plan Of Action
Presently, only vendors approved by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) are permitted to sell goods on stations and trains. The railways have set a plan in place to approach local business associations and offer them a space at the platforms to sell their products. This plan is also expanded to permit them to sell goods onboard the train.
Each vendor would be entitled to pay a fee of ₹1,500 each, with which they can put their products on display for 15 days. After a period of 15 days, a new vendor would replace them at the station. As per the report by NDTV, the officials have already conducted a test run of the project at 78 stations and have earned ₹5,000 from the fees levied from the vendors.
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