Railways Take Measures to Ensure Supply of Hygienic Food in Trains

It is a continuous endeavour by the Indian Railways to provide good quality hygienic food to Railway passengers. Accordingly, a New Catering Policy, 2010 has been introduced on 21.7.2010 with a mandate for effective quality assurance programme, wherein ISO-22000 (International Organization for Standardization) standards are to be progressively implemented for major contracts/units. Supervision and monitoring have been strengthened through a mechanism put in place by deploying railway personnel, who check quality and hygiene and take corrective action in a time-bound manner. Catering Monitoring Cells have been set up at Zonal and Divisional level for daily monitoring of the catering activities. Further, on the same pattern, a centralized Catering Complaint Monitoring Cell has been set up in Board’s office having a toll free number 1800-111-321 for prompt redressal of the passenger grievances related to the catering activates for real time assistance to travelling public.

A total number of 405 food samples were picked up for sample tests from Rajdhani Express trains, including Guwahati and Dibrugarh bound trains in the year 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13. Appropriate action under prevention of Food Adulteration Acct/food Safety and Standard Act have been initiated for any food sample found unfit. Besides this departmental action like imposition of fine, warning etc. have also been undertaken.

All the passenger amenity items fitted in the coaches of Indian Railways, including those of Rajdhani Express trains, are monitored during the various maintenance schedules and the deficiencies found, if any, are rectified. On Board Housekeeping Services (OBHS) for cleaning attention on run has also been prescribed for all the Rajdhani Express trains. Complaints/references received from the passengers regarding passenger amenities in the coaches are acted upon appropriately by Indian Railways.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.


Rly commuters can also file a complaint

Railway passengers too can complain under section 145 of the Railway Act against people creating nuisance in trains. Offender can be fined up to Rs. 500 and imprisoned for six months, if found guilty.

In 2012, the Central Railway booked over 4,000 persons, of which 309 were imprisoned and rest were penalised.

“Passengers getting troubled because of any other commuter should register a complaint at the local RPF station or call on helpline number 1275 with details of the offenders, train number, timing and coach number. If there is an RPF official or ticket collector in the train, the person can complain to them also. Following this, the commuter creating nuisance can be prosecuted under the railway act,” said Alok Bohra, senior divisional security commissioner, railway police force (RPF), Central Railway (CR).

Commuters complained that the nuisance was higher in trains than in buses.

“Most of us don’t know who to approach to file a complaint. Besides, such complaints should be taken on the phone by railway police instead of asking us to come to the police station,” said Kailash Verma, a commuter activist.


Rail e-tickets to cost more

Railway passengers buying e-tickets will have to shell out more from April with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) deciding to pass on the service tax burden to them.

At present, the IRCTC charges Rs 10 per e-ticket for sleeper class and second sitting and Rs 20 for all other classes irrespective of the number of passengers. A maximum of six passengers can be booked per e-ticket.

A senior IRCTC official said, “We had been bearing the burden of service tax since July this fiscal. We have been paying Rs 1.20 for sleeper class and Rs 2.40 for AC classes per ticket and from April passengers will have to bear this.”

According to estimates, the IRCTC will be paying around Rs 18 crore to the government’s service tax kitty this fiscal.

Although the rail budget did not increase the base fare after a 21 per cent hike in January, passengers will have to pay more for supplementary charges such as reservation fees, cancellation charges and Tatkal reservation fees. The change in supplementary charges will result in the railways earning an additional revenue of Rs 483 crore.

Published in: on March 12, 2013 at 5:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Kurla railway police crack down on fake TTEs

The Kurla government railway police busted a racket of a gang involved in looting the valuables of north-bound railway passengers going towards Bihar and UP by posing as TTEs (Train Ticket Examiners) and arrested a 19-year-old youth. However, his four associates managed to flee from the spot.

“ Mohammed Lalababu Sheikh, 19, was booked under sections 406 (Criminal breach of Trust) and 34 (Common intention) IPC on Friday and recovered 13 stolen suitcases full of new clothes, 14 mobiles and Rs4,000 from their rented room at Dharavi.” Said Shivaji Dhumal, senior police inspector of Kurla GRP station. Dhumal said that a manhunt has been launched to nab Sheikh’s four associates.

The gang members originally hail from Bihar and UP and were operating at CST, Dadar, LLT at Kurla and Bandra Terminus for the past two years,” said Dhumal.

Describing their modus operandi, DB Pable, inspector of Kurla GRP station said, “The gang members were well-versed in Bhojpuri and Hindi. They used to keep a watch on north-bound railway passengers carrying the heavy bag with them, at booking halls of any one of terminus. Then, they befriended with the passengers after talking to them in Bhojpuri and used to collect the information such as the destination of said passengers.”

To gain the confidence of the passengers, they used to tell unsuspecting passengers that a close relative was a TTE (Train Ticket Examiner) in the train and instead of wasting their valuable time at booking office queue, they (passengers) would get a ticket easily at their relatives office at Sion-Dharavi, where the number of their baggage was to be registered.

Later, they used to take passengers to Dharavi where a closed shop was portrayed as an office. Then, one of them asked the passenger to hand over the bags to one of their associates who decamped with the bags, said Pable.

Acting on the information, the Kurla GRP team conducted a raid in a small house at Gopinath chawl on 90 Feed Road at Dharavi on Friday morning and nabbed Sheikh.

Navi Mumbai resident, Gulbahar Ansari, 30, a gunman serving in a private security agency at Navi Mumbai said, “I was duped by the gang member at Kurla Terminus on Thursday and stole my single bore rifle, Rs9,000 and other goods collectively worth Rs25,000.” .


Published in: on September 22, 2012 at 1:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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‘Three hoots alert’ for railway passengers

Train drivers will alert the passengers by giving three hoots when the chain is pulled unnecessarily. The passengers should become alert and keep away from the windows, according to press release of Dos and Don’ts by the Government Railway Police (GRP).

Railway Police Superintendent M. Naganna gave a list of precautions railway passengers should observe while travelling on trains. Advising passengers against carrying expensive jewellery and items while travelling, Mr. Naganna said that thieves were using several methods to steal.

Suitcases should be locked and chained to the seats. Women should cover mangalsutram if they open the window for air. He said jewellery should not be put in handbags or purses, because thieves learned to steal them while passengers were sleeping.

Passengers should be more alert when the rush was more because thieves were at their best in crowded trains.


Booking tickets online soares by 135 %

Not only Aviation sector is becoming hi-tech but the Indian Railways are also progressing ahead by engaging modern technology. Nearly 75 per cent railway passengers living in Metropolitan cities and towns are using Internet facility to book railway tickets.
Going to railway station to fetch railway tickets and standing in long queues is now going to be a thing of past. In a period of just one-year number of people getting railway tickets booked online has increased by 135 per cent.

4.40 crore people got tickets booked online:
Those citizens who have access to computer at their home or at close distance they are getting railway tickets booked through Internet. While travellers who take assistance of authorised railway agents their percentage is 23 per cent. Online ticket booking is helping crores of people and it has become a profitable preposition for railways too. From April 2008 to March 2009 nearly 4.40 crore people got tickets booked through Internet. Last year this figure was mere 1.89 crore.

An officer of Railway Division informed that the practice of advance booking of tickets through Internet is now in vogue. E ticketing prevents selling of tickets in black. In a period of just one year number of people getting tickets booked online has soared by 135 per cent. Another advantage of this facility is that black-marketing of reserved tickets has stopped to a great extent. Owing to e-ticketing role of travel agents is getting eliminated and the ticket cannot be transferred to other person as under e-ticketing passenger has to keep ID proof with him while traveling. Now number of railway travellers has increased by 127 per cent. From April 2008 to March 2009, 7.98 crore travellers traveled in trains while last year this figure was only 3.51 crore. Due to this profit of railways has registered an increase of 129 per cent.


On train, beware of any drink offered by a fellow traveller

More and more train passengers are being given drugged drinks and robbed

Repeated efforts to curb incidents of railway passengers being administered poisonous drugs don’t seem to be working too well. On April 2, passengers of Punjab Mail were shocked when seven of their co-passengers did not wake up from sleep at the Kalyan station. The seven passengers were admitted to Rukmanidevi Government Hospital. They were robbed of cash and ornaments.

All seven have been discharged. According to SC Parhi, Senior Divisional Security Commissioner of RPF (CR), “Most of these passengers had drinking water after food which was brought by a co- passenger at Khandwa. It seems something poisonous had been added to the water. Most of these incidents are taking place in Madhya Pradesh and the victims are looted in Mumbai.”

On February 5, 2009, on the same train, Saransh Bharadwaj of Chote Miyan laughter show fame was coming from Gwalior with his father, Ravi Brij Ratan Bharadwaj, to participate in the grand finale of the show in Mumbai. As the train reached Kalyan station he found that his father was unconscious. His sister received them at the Dadar station and he was admitted to a private hospital in Goregaon. His wife told the police that after a co-passenger offered tea at Khandwa he became unconscious. Rs 5,000 was missing from Bharadwaj’s pocket.

These cases have been lodged under sections 328 and 379 of the Indian Penal Code and have been transferred to the Khandwa railway police. Vasant Koregaonkar, Deputy Commissioner of Railway Police (CR) said, “These gangs commit a crime in one state and then run to some other state. We have formed a team to undertake a survey all over India. This will include the number of cases detected, number of those in jail or acquitted. After this we will take further steps.”