New Delhi, May 20: The Indian Railways has proposed that no non-vegetarian food will be served to passengers within the premises on Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary in 2018, 2019 and 2020. The central government has planned a special commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

In a circular to all railway zones last month, the Railway Board said, “October 2, 2018, 2019, 2020 can also be celebrated as a totally vegetarian day when no non-vegetarian food will be served anywhere on Indian Railways premises. All the railway staff will be requested to observe the day as Vegetarian Day.”

Besides observing ‘Vegetarian Day’, the railways plans to run a ‘special salt rake’ from Sabarmati on March 12 to commemorate the Dandi March and ‘swachhata express’ trains from Sabarmati to various stations connected with Gandhiji. The national transporter will also issue tickets with watermark of Mahatma Gandhi’s image.

According to the Railway Board, its plans are subject to approval from the Ministry of Culture which is the nodal ministry for the special commemoration. The plan also includes the thematic painting of all stations connected with Mahatma Gandhi and setting up of digital museums there, depicting significant activities undertaken by the Father of the Nation. A special logo is also being designed by the Ministry of Culture for this purpose.

It is to be noted that October 2 is already celebrated as Rashtriya Swachhta Diwas and if this is accepted then it will also be celebrated as ‘Vegetarian Day’.

The Railway Board has also decided that private booking of entire passenger rakes and coaches can only be done digitally using a link in Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation’s (IRCTC) Web site. “There will be no manual booking of full tariff rate (FTR) trains,” an official source of the Railway Board told a leading portal. However, he did not inform the details from which date the new directive will be effective.

Earlier this month, the IRCTC launched a new method for rail ticket booking. Passengers can even book tatkal tickets through the newly introduced way. “Now, IRCTC e-wallet users can book rail tickets through its mobile app IRCTC Rail Connect,” IRCTC had tweeted. The e-ticketing arm of Railways had also introduced IRCTC Food on Track App with which passengers can order their favourite food is just a click away during the train journey from a place of their choice.

(With agency inputs)