South Eastern Railway has decided to make catering services optional in three of its Duronto Express trains and a super AC express from August one, official sources said here today. The zonal railway has decided that from August one, 12262/12261 Howrah-Mumbai Duronto Express, 12222/12221 Howrah-Pune Duronto Express, 12245/12246 Howrah-Yesvantpur Duronto Express and 12847/12848 Howrah-Digha Super AC Express will have optional catering services, an SER spokesperson said.
There have been several complaints of low quality food being served in trains run by Indian Railways and has also been castigated by the CAG for below-par hygiene standards at railway catering units. Announcing the new scheme, the SER spokesperson said that it shall be implemented for an initial period of six months, subject to mid-term review after three months.
“Passengers will be required to mandatorily exercise either of the options at the time of the booking of ticket,” he said, adding that catering service will be excluded or included after the mandatory option is exercised by the passengers accordingly.
The catering charges shall be included in the ticket fare only in case passengers opt for catering services and excluded in case passengers do not require catering services, he said.
Passengers will not be allowed to change their options at any point of time once they exercise option at the time of booking, he said, adding that no partial catering service shall be provided to passengers under this scheme.