Indian Railways Catering:
Do Not Overpay; Demand Quality and Lodge Complaint 24X7
Whenever you happen to travel by train, buy a cup of tea, the vendor charges you Rs 10. People pay the amount invariably, but if you pay him Rs 7 only, he will gladly accept it, because he knows he is overcharging you for three rupees per cup and a complaint could cost him his license.
We, the people do not know our rights and if we happen to know, we hardly care. That’s why; the catering of Indian railways is always termed as sub-standard. Overcharging relates to the charges collected by licensee from passengers for any food & beverages items over and above approved rate or printed MRP prescribed or fixed by Railways. Lesser quantity served than what is prescribed is also treated as overcharging.
Indian Railways is one of the world's largest railway networks comprising 115,000 km of track over a route of 65,436 km and 7,172 stations. In 2014-15, IR carried 8.397 billion passengers annually or more than 23 million passengers a day (roughly half of whom were suburban passengers). In 2014–2015 Indian Railways had revenues of Rs. 1634.50 billion. Despite the impressive figures, the catering of the railway has always been criticized.
Of late, the Indian Railways have launched ‘Jago Grahak Jago’ campaign for the passenger to empower and awaken them about their right of catering services in the trains. It is your right to ask for printed menu card or rate list for the food items and beverages you are buying either at stall or in train.
The drive is also being conducted to check the overcharging by the licensees in serving various standard food items and proprietary articles food products such as packaged drinking water, biscuits, cold drinks, etc. These drives have resulted in reduction of complaints from the passengers on quantity of food items and overcharging as action has been taken against the defaulting licensee. Whenever Control Offices come across telephonic complaint on overcharging, the same are being redressed on-line by the concerned control officer who interacts with the pantry car staff & passengers on the spot.
On-line Complaint Management System has been introduced to facilitate the passengers for lodging their online complaint by logging at www.irctc.com. Complaint is sent directly to the concerned licensee for immediate submission of comments. A unique complaint number is allotted to the complainant for viewing the status by the complainant at any time. An auto-generated reply with the unique complaint number is sent to the complainant mail id. This system is also assessable with all the Zonal/Regional/Corporate Officers. In addition to this, Indian Railway is also in the process of random and automizing inspections.
Use National Toll Free Number:
A toll free no. 1800-111-139 has been launched for swift redressal of complaints & suggestions conveyed by passengers on phone. Passengers can call this no. from train as well without any charges & register their grievance/suggestion at complaint cells of Zonal control offices which are 24 x 7 operational. The toll free number is also printed in the menu cards and tray mats.
In order to facilitate another option of lodging complaint/suggestion by passenger, facility of receipt of complaint through SMS on 9711111139 has already been started. This will enable the travelling passengers to get their complaints redressed by quickest means.
In order to monitor the quality of catering services overall, Central Control has been set up at New Delhi which is round the clock operational. All the zonal offices are also having Zonal control offices to monitor the quality of catering services. The control offices monitor the redressal of telephonic complaints as well as monitoring of tourism trains. In case of an abnormality of train operation, control offices inform all concerned service provider for making provision of alternate catering services so as to avoid any public complaint. Zonal Control Offices nos. & Central Control number are: New Delhi: 011-23221147, Mumbai: 022-22618067, Kolkata: 033-26601743, Control Office at Chennai: 044-253533, Secunderabad: 040-27716145 Central Control: 011-23345300.
Time to Time, the drive for pasting of menu stickers are launched by the Railways to paste standard menu stickers in the coaches of Mail/Express trains so as to spread awareness among the travelling passengers on Rates & Quantity of meal items. The purpose of pasting the menu stickers in the coaches to bring awareness among the passengers on quantity & rates of meal items of the standard menu as well as other relevant information like Toll Free Number for lodging their grievances/suggestions, standard rates of tea/coffee, Rail Neer etc.
What to Do:
- Carry change to avoid overcharging.
- Demands bills/receipt, grammage
- Check MRP & date of expiry
- Buy food items only from stalls and not from unauthorized vendors.
- Check the brand of packed items.
- Demand complaint book.
- Use Toll Free No. 1800-111-139 & SMS on 9971111139.
- If you are not satisfied with the service do tell on control room nos.
- Ask for ticket number for follow up.