After revising the food tariff for all trains except premier services last year, Railways have come up with a proposal to increase the rates of food served in Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto.
As per the proposal, the overall increase in food item would be higher for passengers travelling in AC-II, III and chair car categories, but would be minimum for AC-I.
Passengers in premier trains – Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto – are entitled to meals and snacks for which charges are included in the price of the ticket.
“A decision has to be taken whether the food charges will be revised without increasing the fares in premier trains, or include it in the ticket and allow the fares to go up,” a source in Railways said.
If the tariff revision is announced with inclusion of ticket rate, then fares of premier trains will see hike for the second time after the latest increase on January 22.
Railways had constituted a committee during the then Railway Minister P K Bansal’s tenure to suggest improvement in food quality and also for suitable revision in food prices which was left untouched for more than 10 years.
The panel has recommended that lunch and dinner for premier train passengers travelling in AC-II, III and chair car coaches should go up from Rs. 88 to Rs. 125.
But in the case of the AC 1 and Executive Class, there would be only a hike of Rs. 13 for lunch and dinner. Breakfast prices may increase by Rs. 24 for AC-I, and Rs. 31 for other categories of passengers.
The panel’s recommendation for hiking food tariff in premier trains was presented to Railway Minister C P Joshi in a recent review meeting.
“The Minister’s nod for hiking the food tariff in premier trains is awaited,” the source said, adding that “input cost has gone up many times since the last revision.”
Besides suggesting hike in food tariff, it has also suggested a number of measures to improve catering services in premier trains.
While some items like cold drinks and chocolates are to be removed from the menu of premier trains, ice creams and curd will be bought from reputed brands only.