Passengers travelling by Rajdhani and Duronto will now get an additional free bottle of water in case their scheduled journeys are extended beyond 20 hours due to the trains running late, the Railway Board has said. Currently, passengers onboard Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi trains get a complementary bottle of Rail Neer along with disposable cup as soon as they are seated. They also get another free bottle if their scheduled journey is of 20 hours duration or more.
“For trains which are late running, a second bottle of Rail Neer packaged drinking water should also be served to passengers subject to the train running late by more than two hours and total travelling time of a passengers is more than 20 hours,” the circular issued by the Board yesterday said.
So, in effect, if a passenger is travelling on the New Delhi-Howrah Rajdhani, his scheduled journey is of around 19 hours. Under the new circular, he will get a bottle of Rail Neer, only if he reaches his destination more than two hours late after covering a journey time of more than 20 hours, an official explained.
“We realised that there was no option for passengers to get a bottle of Rail Neer if their scheduled journeys are delayed due to late running of trains. “So, for example, if they are undertaking a five hour journey and the train gets delayed by 15 hours, they will get a bottle. This was not possible earlier when only passengers scheduled to undertake 2o hour journeys got the second bottle,” the official said.
This will come as a relief to passengers who often have to pay vendors to get water on long-train journeys. “It is not enough, but at least it’s a start. With such huge delays in trains on a daily basis, the railways should in fact provide more water bottles to passengers specially during the summer season.
“When we try to buy water bottles on stations or in trains, they overcharge and sometimes I’m concerned about the brands that they sell,” said Tapan Bakshi, who travels between Delhi and Howrah regularly.