New Delhi: After drawing flak over plans to serve only vegetarian food on October 2, Indian Railways has decided not to mark Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary as 'Vegetarian Day'.

In an order sent to the IRCTC, the national carrier's catering arm, the Railway Board has instructed that the option of non-vegetarian food be made available for passengers on the said day as usual.

Earlier, in May, it had issued orders to all zonal railways to celebrate the day as 'Vegetarian Day' as a mark of respect to Mahatma Gandhi, India's most-famous ambassador for vegetarianism.

"The matter has been examined by the Board's office and it has been decided by the competent authority that the option of veg/non-vegetarian food which already exists in trains, will continue as usual," the letter whose subject line read 'Celebration of October 2, 2018, 2019, 2020 as Vegetarian Day', said.

Copies of both the letters are with PTI.

In the circular issued in May, the Board had proposed that "October 2, 2018, 2019, 2020 can be celebrated as a totally Vegetarian Day when no non-vegetarian food will be served anywhere on Indian Railways premises."

"All the railway staff will be requested to observe the day as Vegetarian Day," it had said.

The railways had plans to run a 'special salt rake' from Sabarmati on March 12 to commemorate the Dandi March and 'swachhata express' trains from Sabarmati to various stations connected with Gandhiji.

The national transporter will also issue tickets with watermark of Mahatma Gandhi's image among other things.