New Delhi: The Railway Ministry, which operates the Parliament House canteen for fulfilling the needs of snacks and lunch of ministers, MPs, media persons and other staff members, is facing staff issues in making the payment system completely cashless.
According to a Railway Ministry official, there are 70 vacancies in Parliament House canteen, which include jobs of cook, helper, cashier and supervisor among all.
- The main problem is that they don’t have cashiers who can handle the swap system in the canteen.
- Railway has also accepted that the process of recruiting new staff, in place of those retired during the past 4-5 years, is very complex.
- Despite consistently demanding for more manpower, no new hiring has been done since long.
- Railway has also claimed that they are facing issues in swapping debit and credit cards of MPs as the central hall’s internet system is being used through the telephone line there.
- The swapping system would only be limited to the cash counter for now and the mobile swapping machines would be installed in the premises in the coming days as they currently lack staff for the same.
- At present, only 16 waiters take orders of MPs and other VIP guests in the Parliament House canteen.
- The administration says that even if they provide a swapping machine to each of the waiters, they wouldn’t work as internet jammers are installed inside the premises.
- Significantly, despite the availability of swap machine in the canteen of Room No 7 on the first floor, very few MPs are using the facility.
- The officials said that since demonetisation, canteen has seen a significant fall in sales. The food prices in the canteen, however, have more than doubled over the past few months.
- On an average, around 4,500 people take food in the Parliament House canteen every day.
- Parliament’s food committee chairman and MP Jitendra Reddy had claimed that the canteen staff would be trained of using swap machines within two-three days.
- A Northern Railway official, however, has accepted that till the waiters and cashiers having technical knowledge wouldn’t be hired, it would be very difficult to make the Parliament House cashless.