Days after a BJP MP wrote to Union Minister Piyush Goyal, expressing his reservations about the proposal to offer massage services in trains, the railways on Saturday dropped the plan.
Newly elected Indore parliamentarian Shankar Lalwani, in his letter to the railway minister, said it was against the Indian culture to provide massage services to passengers in the presence of fellow women travellers.
The Railways said in a statement Saturday that the proposal on providing head, neck and foot massages to passengers of 39 trains originating from Indore had been withdrawn.
"Proposal for the introduction of head and/or foot massage services to be provided in the trains originating from Indore was initiated by Ratlam Division of Western Railways. As soon as this proposal came to the notice of higher authorities of Western Railways, it has been decided to withdraw this proposal of starting massage services in trains," the statement said.
As per the plan, the massage facility was to be made available in 39 trains originating from Indore, including Dehradun-Indore Express (14317), New Delhi-Indore Intercity Express (12416) and Indore-Amritsar Express (19325).
The services had been proposed to be offered into three categories — gold, diamond and platinum.
In the gold category, any non-sticky or olive oil was to be used and it would have cost Rs 100 to a passenger, while the diamond service was to be provided for Rs 200 and any essential oil was to be used. The platinum package was to be with cream for Rs 300. All the services would have been provided for 15-20 minutes.
"Western Railway respects the suggestions given by its consumers and their appropriate suggestions are also implemented from time to time. Western Railways also appreciates the positive suggestions of public representatives, railway consumers, and the public at large," the statement of the ministry said, indicating that it had received negative feedback from passengers as well.
(With inputs from PTI)