All of us use catering services while travelling in a train. Almost every time we pay the caterers the amount they ask, without actually enquiring about the prices. The Logical Indian has been trying to create awareness on this issue and how we can avoid getting cheated. Protapta Das shares his experience on his timeline.
“Last week I was travelling from Visakhapatnam to Howrah in Yesvantpur-Howrah Express. Ordered Veg. meal from the pantry car, as per waiter it was Rs.90/- only. I always have in mind that these people are charging very high for the meals but never took it seriously. But this time I determined to inquire about it. Googled about the rate card and menu, found this website, IRCTC Help: IRCTC Latest Food Menu Rates. I was shocked when I saw the prices –
- Veg meals which pantry car person was selling at Rs 90 was priced only Rs 50/-
- Non-Veg Meals pantry car rate was priced Rs 100 is only Rs 55/-
- Two more options are also available as Standard Thali Meals- Veg and Non-Veg atRs 35 and Rs 40.
After meals, I handed over Rs 50 to the waiter, but he was demanding Rs 90. I asked him about the RATE CARD; he refused to have any such thing. Shown him the above website and rates, he was told that Rs. 50 will be ok, but DON’T TELL ANYONE. I was so furious, travelled all the way from 13th coach to 1st coach to the pantry car.
And on my way, informed co-passengers who were taking the meals from pantry about this scam. Met the Pantry-In-charge. Enquired about this. He was also telling the same story, rate cards are missing right now but will shortly get the new one. About the jacked price of the meal, he was mum. Lodged a complaint in his Complaint register, which he handed over to me after half an hour.
Initially, he was pleading not to write the complaint but after writing the complaint, he was like nobody will see this, it will go into dustbin that’s it. To my surprise, against my complaint (he is obliged to give reason in writing – triplet complaint copies – one has to handed over to customer) he wrote “taken only Rs 50 from customer Bill No XXX and this customer writes complaint every time he travels.The same situation is in almost every train, pantry car meals price are jacked up as no one questions them, no one asks about the rate card.
As per one of the estimate, every day around 25 million passenger travel from Indian Railways, if only 0.5% of these passengers takes either lunch or dinner from pantry cars, extra Rs 30 on each meal will make these people rich by Rs 3,75,00,000 each day.
Please do insist for bill every time you order food from a Railway pantry car.”
You can read about the prices here: Revised Tariff for tea, coffee, breakfast and standard meals. Download the pdf file and take it whenever you are travelling. To have the idea of what actual prices are, here we are attaching the menu.