The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC) will have to pay Rs 30,000 penalty for serving unhygienic food to a Chandigarh-bound passenger who was travelling on Kalka-New Delhi Shatabdi Express. The UT consumer forum has directed IRCTC to pay a Rs 30,000 fine for serving food that was contaminated by dead insects. The forum has asked IRCTC to pay Rs 10,000 as compensation to the complainant for harassment and litigation charges, and deposit the remaining Rs 20,000 with the Institute for the Blind, Sector 26, Chandigarh, according to a report by The Indian Express.
Not just this, IRCTC will also have to refund Rs 130 catering charges which were included in the complainant’s Rs 521 ticket price from New Delhi to Chandigarh. According to the report, the incident took place when P P Singh, a Sector 11-A resident of Chandigarh was travelling by train on June 9, 2016. “After eating a few morsels of parantha with cheese gravy, I opened the lids of other food items, i.e. dal and rice, and was shocked to notice the presence of some dead insects and foreign matter in the same. I showed the same to the catering staff, who felt apologetic and removed the tray containing contaminated food items,” Singh said while describing the incident.
Singh further alleged that he remained hungry throughout the journey as he refused to take the replaced meal because it belonged to the same lot. Singh, in his complaint, said that the passengers on Kalka-New Delhi Shatabdi Express are provided food on board as a compulsory precondition and the price of the compulsory food is included in the ticket charges. Thus, he filed a complaint alleging deficiency in service and unfair trade practice on part of the Indian Railways and IRCTC.
However, IRCTC in its reply had dismissed these allegations by saying that the catering service in New Delhi-Chandigarh Shatabdi Express is provided by Northern Railway post Catering Policy 2010 and it has no control over it.