1. Good news for Railway passengers; Piyush Goyal orders staff to stop overcharging for food, sets 48 hour deadline

Good news for Railway passengers; Piyush Goyal orders staff to stop overcharging for food, sets 48 hour deadline

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal instructed the catering staff to stop asking for tips from rail passengers and overcharging for food within 48 hours.

By: | New Delhi | Published: September 10, 2017 12:06 PM
Indian Railways, railways, irctc, irctc policy, Piyush goyal, railway minister, india news, news Railway Minister Piyush Goyal instructed the catering staff to stop asking for tips from rail passengers and overcharging for food within 48 hours. (Source: IE)

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal instructed the catering staff to stop asking for tips from rail passengers and overcharging for food within 48 hours, reported The Indian Express. The order by the Railway minister was passed this week. Following the instructions, letters were sent out to all zonal railway units across the country, asking them to ensure that the practice should be stopped with immediate effect. The Indian railways have been trying to tackle the problem of overcharging by the catering staff for long now but it is for the first time that a strict deadline has been set for the same. However, the problem of catering staff asking for tips has never figured in policy intervention beyond the advising catering staff to not ask for tips and passengers to not encourage it.

After the order passed by Goyal and the ministry directive, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) contacted its contractors immediately to pass on the information and the deadline. Failing to follow the orders will invite a heavy penalty, reported IE. Railways’ catering inspectors will spread out throughout the trains to inspect if the practice is still prevalent-starting Monday. Also, the social media platforms will be under monitoring to look out for passengers complaining either of overcharging or about waiters asking for tips.

The whole “bakshish (tips)”has been a concept practiced in Rajdhani Express, which in turn is a legacy of the Raj era. However, as years passed the asking for tips from passengers at the end of the journey, has become a part of the deal.

On one hand, as can be seen, that there are stickers on trains that sensitise passenger not to tip, the catering staff appears at the end of the journey and ask for tips from passengers. Earlier, in 2015-16, a Union minister who happens to travel in Rajdhani had clicked a picture of a pantry staff asking for tips and had sent it to the former railway Minister Suresh Prabhu.

Talking about overcharging, it is a bigger problem that the railway ministry has been trying deal with but have failed so far. Last year, as per an internal note prepared by the ministry, overcharging took the biggest chunk of the passenger’s complaint.

The whole food service of IRCTC has been under criticism for quite sometime. Earlier, in July, a CAG report called the Indian Railways food as “unfit for human consumption.” Stating that the provision of catering services for passengers with varied choices is an “onerous task”, Railways has said that structural reforms are being undertaken to help find a solution to the problem institutionally. According to Indian Railways, Suresh Prabhu had instituted a “Zero Tolerance policy” towards catering. “In the last six months itself, we have terminated 7 contracts, blacklisted 16 contractors, taken action against 21 officers and imposed fines in excess of Rs 4.5 crores,” claims the Ministry.

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    Terence monteiro
    Sep 14, 2017 at 2:26 pm
    Mr minister ,If action is taken against catering staff action should also be taken against staff of the railways..we the people of India are paying for railway employees who do not work but sign the muster and go home.,These jobs can be given to people who can contribute for the national growth. Anothe outstanding feature is people have fake certificates should not be given pension but they should be fired immediately.
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      Dilip jain
      Sep 11, 2017 at 9:56 pm
      Piyushji Goyal Thanks, good decision for tips. Now take quick and strict actions on passengers complaints. 95 Senior enquiry officers are managed by the guilty officers.
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        Dilip jain
        Sep 11, 2017 at 9:37 pm
        Piyushji Goyal Thanks, good decision for tips another request take quick and strict action on passengers complaints. 95 senior enquiry officers are managed by the guilty officers.
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          Narayanan
          Sep 11, 2017 at 10:12 am
          I am travelling in 19578 jamnagar express in 2nd class.. The catering guys charge every thing extra, tea 10/_ water 20/- food 100/- etc. And food is not good. Have to make strict control on it
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            Guest
            Sep 11, 2017 at 5:11 am
            How about discontinuation of structured timebound overcharging of the rail fares on certain trains?
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            1. Quazi Shefa Zaman
              Sep 11, 2017 at 12:17 am
              Thanks to the newly appointed railway minister for the bold steps taken at last.I take this privilege to Reqest our Hon'ble minister to to the following facts for kind consideration: provide clean bed sheets,pillow cover and allergen and dust free clean blanket.Free the AC compartments and station premises from rats.Smoking in the compartments are now frequently done due to not taking proper action and penalty.Unauthorised passengers claiming as railway staff often travel in the AC compartments frequently.T his practice should be stopped.. There should have an arrangement of fooding facility in some stations by genuine licenced food suppliers for the express train without pantry cars.No unauthorised person is allowed to sell any food in the compartments.Toilets should be cleaned after an interval of two hours. Best wishes regards, Sincerely, Q T zaman Burdwan,WB
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                Ratankumar Gobbi
                Sep 10, 2017 at 11:45 pm
                Another request is that, those who are wanted to get down in midnight in place, it is not possible to identify the unknown places, please announce in trains next coming place names like it is in Mumbai local train. It is very necessary.
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                  Ratankumar Gobbi
                  Sep 10, 2017 at 11:40 pm
                  In trains charging for eatable things mineral water bottles more than MRP. Minimum they charging rs.5/ extra. Especially in Shivamogga to Bangalore trains Bangalore to Shivamogga trains. Please railway department officers should take action in this regard.
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                    Isha Singh
                    Sep 10, 2017 at 11:07 pm
                    Mr Piyush Goyal better you take care of the quality of food being served in trains rather than raising such pidly issues ..These poor chaps are doing their duty well i don't mind paying tip to them but i really do mind paying for the food which i am not even eating as the quality of the food is pathetic..why don't you people hire good caterers like bikano or haldiram or simply don't include the food charges in ticket. Shame on you Indian Railways.
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                    1. Anjan Kumar Barman Roy
                      Sep 10, 2017 at 10:30 pm
                      very good decision for a rajdhani express tips problem
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                        GP SHARMA
                        Sep 10, 2017 at 10:22 pm
                        Catering charges should be made optional while booking ticket of all Rajdhani Trains
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                          GP SHARMA
                          Sep 10, 2017 at 10:13 pm
                          Hon'ble Railway Minister has taken a good step in the matter of overcharging and tips in respect of IRCTC food service. I request the Hon'ble Ray Minister to please either make caterimg charges optional in all hang Trains which is being charged compulsorily presently or drastically enhance the quality of substandard food being served by the IRCTC presently. Thanking you in anti tion, Yours faithfully, GP Sharma
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                            Narendra
                            Sep 10, 2017 at 10:03 pm
                            When r u going to stop the dynamic fare system in Rajdhani Shatabdi trains....last time i have paid Mumbai-Delhi 3AC fare around 4500/-....which is almost equal to flight fare....Mr.Prabu made a promise last year in May that thy will remove d dynamic faring system from d train but its still ther....if you study d data u will fine trains r going empty during non-peak season.... isn't it a loss to railway...Govt just want to loot d public money thats it...Mumbai-Delhi 4500/- and during festival season its goes upto Rs 7500/-...which is highly rediculous...
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                              harish lakhara
                              Sep 10, 2017 at 8:47 pm
                              Sir mera parcel aane wala tha kolhapur se jis ki booking 6sep ko huye the wo abhi tk nahi aaya h . Parcel book huaa tha kolhapur to bikaner.parcel ko aana tha 8sep ko but abhi tk nahi aaya bikaner or kolhapur reilway is ki koi b jankari dene ko tiyar nahi h plz sir help me . Parcel number 0435870 h .plz sir help me
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                                Alok
                                Sep 10, 2017 at 8:32 pm
                                Railway minister also try to curb unauthorized vendor in trains.they are big black sheep for railway image. I also faced many problems with unauthorized vendor. They don't follow the timing let it may be night of day.if any body compliant about them police threatened to come at court and stop journey in between
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                                  Anil Kumar Khanna
                                  Sep 10, 2017 at 6:57 pm
                                  Menu with rates should be displayed in all the coaches on multiple sites so that all passengers can check the rates.
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                                    GP SHARMA
                                    Sep 10, 2017 at 10:15 pm
                                    Yes
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                                    Lal
                                    Sep 10, 2017 at 1:15 pm
                                    Rip von winkle has awoken. So far the minister was like Chinese monkeys seeing, hearing, talking nothing wrong, They serve useless food at high cost. The quality is worse than what one gets in roadside eateries. Simultaneously all shops on the platforms closed and vendors are not visible. It is pure blackmail and the passenger either eats harmful snacks like biscuit, cake etc or fasts during the journey. Why can't they declare the menu and prices on the ?
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                                      Have L Kaul
                                      Sep 10, 2017 at 12:55 pm
                                      Nice to read that Railway minister has issued orders to curb over charging by the caterer and also Tips . First of all I would like to know why is it mandatory to include food charges in the ticket, a passenger is rather one can say forced to eat the food since he has paid for it and the quality of the food is very bad. Therefore it is suggested, 1, while booking the ticket the passenger should be asked whether he would like to have food if yes then food charges may be added in the ticket otherwise not, 2, the quality of the food has to be good.
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                                        GP SHARMA
                                        Sep 10, 2017 at 10:25 pm
                                        You are absolutely right Mr Kaul ...Thanks
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                                        S N Rao
                                        Sep 10, 2017 at 12:55 pm
                                        Good initiative. Please be tough with the vendors both inside the compartment and on platforms. Many times we paid 20 per water bottle.
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                                          Dr K M Das
                                          Sep 10, 2017 at 12:36 pm
                                          Apparently, most important matter to be looked into is the quality of the food. In a long distance travel we are always at the mercy of the Railway staff serving food in the compartment. The other day, I was travelling by Shatabdi express from Howrah to Puri and I was shocked to experience sand particles in the sandwich served. Moreover, there was significant difference of the standard of cleanliness observed. Most of the packets of sandwiches were stocked by the side of the stinking toilet before being served to the passenger. On further inquiry, the serving boy let me know that these were supplied by the vendors from a particular station where they donot have any control. Here, we donot know whether it was packed by a person infected with Hepa is virus or Tuberculosis. Moreover, we donot know what was the precaution taken for the hygiene of the food handler. I am sure, our Hon minister Mr Goel will look into the matter.
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