NEW DELHI: Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has instructed IRCTC to use the two saloons earmarked for him for the general public's use, a source said.
Goyal asked the Railways' catering arm to free saloons not being used for safety or operational needs for public use commercially on payment basis.
In March this year, IRCTC opened India's first saloon coach with air-conditioned rooms, attached bathrooms and valet services to the public -- initially reserved only for railway officials.
"The minister feels saloons are trappings of a colonial mindset with no place in modern India.
He has not only given up two saloons which were earmarked for him, but has also asked IRCTC to give up those that are not being used by the Railways, and use them commercially," said the source.
The saloons or inspection cars can usually accommodate two families and are adequately built to facilitate stay for up to five days.
They usually comprise of two bedrooms, a lounge, a pantry, a toilet and a kitchen. Railways has a total of 336 saloon cars across railway zones, among them 62 are air-conditioned.