New Delhi: Indian Railways has dropped its plan to offer massage to its passengers after it drew criticism from the public as well as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders.

Former BJP MP and Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan had reportedly written a letter to Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways of India, stating that it’s against the Indian culture to offer such services in front of other passengers.

Yesterday, Shankar Lalwani, a BJP MP from Indore, wrote a letter to Piyush Goyal and said that such a move is not feasible as there will be fellow women travellers present on board the train.

“I can understand this service being provided in tourist trains or even Shatabdi and Rajdhani trains, but not in passenger trains as is being planned. In passenger trains who cares for massages?” said Lalwani.

“They are poor people and the journeys last for three to four hours. Who needs a massage there? I think this is completely unnecessary and many women groups here have also complained about it,” he added.

The Railways said in a statement on Saturday that the proposal on providing head, neck and foot massages to passengers of 39 trains originating from Indore has been withdrawn.

According to 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).

Earlier, Ratlam Railway Divisional Manager (DRM) R N Sunkar informed that the railway administration had signed a deal with a private agency to offer the massage facility and that the move was aimed to earn annual revenue of Rs 20 lakh to the railways.

(With Inputs from PTI)