New Delhi: Former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP and Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan has raised questions on the Indian railways’ recent decision to start massage service on trains. Also Read - Need to Ensure Timely, Equitable Availability of Covid Vaccines, Says Union Minister Goyal

Mahajan has reportedly written to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, saying it’s against the Indian culture to offer such services in front of passengers. Also Read - Chhath Puja 2020: Railways Plans to Run 46 Special Trains For Festival | Check Complete List Here

Earlier, Shankar Lalwani, the newly elected BJP MP from Indore had also slammed the move, calling it ‘standardless’. Also Read - Lalitpur to Bhopal Non-Stop: Train Runs For More Than 200 Kms to Rescue 3-year-old Girl, Kidnapper Found to be Minor's Father

Expressing his reservation, Lalwani, in a letter to Goyal said that it would not be appropriate to provide massage to passengers, especially in the presence of fellow women travellers.

“I am surprised that considering the norms of the Indian culture, will it be appropriate to provide massage services on running trains, especially in the presence of women? In my opinion, providing this kind of standardless service, instead of making available essential medical facilities and doctors to passengers during the rail travel does not serve any purpose,” Lalwani said in the letter.

As per the plan, the massage facility will be made available in 39 trains departing from Indore, including Dehradun-Indore Express (14317), New Delhi-Indore Intercity Express (12416) and Indore-Amritsar Express (19325).

Speaking to PTI, Ratlam Railway Divisional Manager (DRM) R N Sunkar informed that the railway administration has signed a deal with a private agency to offer the massage facility. He added that the move aims to earn annual revenue of Rs 20 lakh to the railways.

Besides, people who provide massage facility to the passengers on running trains would buy 20,000 rail tickets, which would give an earning of Rs 90 lakh to the railways, he added.

(With agency inputs)