IRCTC News: Overcharging for food by private vendors
IRCTC provides food through private vendors in many trains and they are overcharging for food?
Ministry of Railways has issued a new Catering Policy 2017 on 27/02/2017. Under this policy, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd. (IRCTC) has been mandated to provide catering services on trains.
Presently, IRCTC is providing catering services on 393 trains with Pantry Cars i.e. 68 Premium Trains (Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto, Tejas & Gatiman Express) and 325 Mail /Express Trains and also through Train Side Vending module on 1038 trains running without pantry cars. Passengers have options for ordering meal through e-Catering also.
The Menu/tariff of catering services on pre paid
(i) Premium Trains (Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto trains where catering charges are included in the ticket fare), notified by Ministry of Railways is at Appendix-I However, the existing menu of Premium Trains is being rationalized progressively by IRCTC.
(ii) The Menu /tariff of standard items/meals in regard to other Mail/Express trains (where catering services are provided on payment basis) notified by Ministry of Railways is at Appendix-II, in addition to which A La Carte items has been permitted on Mail/Express trains.
Catering services on trains are provided through private licensee as well as Departmental operations. Continuous supervision and monitoring of catering services is done by Railways. Indian Railways provide catering services in trains as per the prescribed standard and tariff. Regular and surprise inspections are conducted to check quality, quantity and overcharging of food on Indian Railways. All complaints including those pertaining to overcharging are dealt strictly. Stringent punitive actions including monetary penalty, debarring and termination of contract are taken as per the gravity of the complaint. In addition, to curb overcharging, Indian Railways have taken following measures :
- Prominent display of Menu/Tariff through various means viz. websites, social media, newspaper, trains at a glance etc. mandatory with waiters.
- Deployment of onboard IRCTC supervisors for continuous monitoring.
- Introduction of hand held PoS machine along with QR code for generation of bills.
- MRP on food boxes – ” No MRP, the license get cancelled”
- Awareness Campaign “No Bill- The food is for FREE”.
- Monitoring and supervision of catering service through Operation of centralized Catering Service Monitoring Cell (CSMC) toll free number 1800-111-321, Operation of All India Helpline No. 138, Twitter handle, CPGRAMS, E-Mail and SMS based complaints redressal.
The number of complaints for overcharging of food items in trains received and the action taken in this regard by IRCTC during the period 2018-19 (up to 31.10.2018) is appended as Appendix III.
However, it is continuous endeavour of Indian Railways to monitor catering services and take stringent punitive action for deficiency in services including overcharging.
|No.||Item||Tariff (existing) In Rupeees)|
|1||Standard tea (150 ml) in disposable cups of 170 ml capacity||5.00||5.00|
|2||Tea (with tea bag) (150 ml) in disposable cups of 170 ml capacity||10.00||10.00|
|3||Coffee using instant coffee powder (150 ml) in disposable cups of 170 ml capacity.||10.00||10.00|
|4||Tea in pots (285 ml) + 2 tea bags + 2 sugar pouches||10.00||10.00|
|5||Coffee in pots (285 ml) + 2 instant Coffee sachets + 2 sugar pouches||15.00||15.00|
|6||Rail Neer/ Packaged drinking water (chilled)|
|1 litre bottle /1000 ml||15.00|
|500 ml. Bottle||10.00|
|7||Janta Meal or Economy meal or Janata Khana||15.00||20.00|
|8(i)||Vegetarian Breakfast a) Bread Butter & cutlet b) Idli & Vada c) Upma & Vada, (d) Pongal & Vada||25.00||30.00|
|8(ii)||Non-Vegetarian Breakfast Bread, Butter and omelette||30.00||35.00|
|9||Standard Casserole meals|
|10||Standard Thali Meals (only in Ref. Rooms)|
|10(i)||Meals in Thalis (veg.)||35.00|
|10(ii)||Meals in Thalis (Non-veg.)||40.00|