Millennium Post

Booksellers in a fix over skyrocketing maintenance fee levied by Indian Railways

Booksellers in a fix over skyrocketing maintenance fee levied by Indian Railways

Kolkata: Booksellers at Howrah station are in a fix as their kiosks are likely to be eliminated if they fail to pay skyrocketing maintenance fee demanded by the authorities Indian Railways.

Depending upon the contract and space, the rent of book stall varies. According to sources, earlier approximately Rs 18,000 was paid by the stall owners to the Indian Railway. However, that same amount has now shot up to Rs 5 lakh. "We have no idea what deal is going on between the owner and Indian Railway. Our book stall is the only source of income for us. If it shuts down then it we will die unnatural death," said Tinku Bhowmick, a worker at Gita Press stall.

There are three prominent book stalls — Gita Press, Adavaita Ashrama (Publication House of Ramakrishna Math, Belur Math) and Sarvodaya book – at the Howrah station's platform number 23. Gita Press was earlier situated at platform number 18. Four months ago it was shifted to platform number 18 at Howrah station. Adavaita Ashrama (Publication House of Ramakrishna Math, Belur Math) was earlier situated at platform number 21 and was shifted to platform number 23. "After being shifted from platform number 18 to 23, our sales have dropped. Platform number 23 is situated at the extreme end. Customers hardly come here," Tinku said.

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