Hike in food rates likely for Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto

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.

http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/hike-in-food-rates-likely-for-rajdhani-shatabdi-and-duronto-375407

Published in: on June 6, 2013 at 3:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Better food but pay more for less on premier trains

Frequent travellers on premier trains, including Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duranto trains, will soon have to shell extra for better quality food, but will have a lesser spread for breakfast or dinner.

Railways minister Pawan Kumar Bansal instructed officials on Tuesday to finalise plans to provide enhanced catering tariffs to commensurate with good quality of service.

Bansal favors a minimal hike in food tariff, along with a visible improvement in quality and service.

This should be possible by cutting down on the “huge costs” borne by the Railways as payment of “service charges” to contractors (towards transportation and supply of raw material).

The option of cutting down on food items is also being favored. “This will help the railways reduce the burden of enhanced tariffs on the passengers’, the minister told the meeting.

The list of items that can get eliminated from the menu of Rajdhani/Shatabdi passengers includes salad, sweets, soup and toffee. Morning tea in these trains is priced at Rs. 13, while breakfast and evening snacks come for Rs. 40. A lunch or dinner costs Rs. 75.

In a memorandum submitted to the railways minister recently, the All-India Train Catering Contractors’ Association had demanded an upward revision in lunch/dinner charges by Rs. 40, besides a Rs. 20 increase in existing rates for breakfast and evening snacks.

Enhanced catering rates for these trains – unchanged since 1999 – are likely to be announced before the end of the existing catering contracts on May 20.

In several railway zones, caterers are running on temporary extensions after their contracts expired.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/NewDelhi/Better-food-but-pay-more-for-less-on-premier-trains/Article1-1040098.aspx

Rs. 20 hike in Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto fares likely

Another round of fare hike in premier trains looks imminent with Railways revising food tariffs for Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi trains.

“It will be a minor hike ranging between Rs. 15 and Rs. 20 for Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto passengers after the revision of catering charges of the premier trains,” a top Railway official involved with the decision making process said.

The revision will be announced shortly and the hike will be implemented as soon as the software is updated accordingly, the official said. Once the revision is announced, fares of premier trains will witness hike for the second time after the latest increase on January 22.

Food tariff was revised for mail and express trains last month after 10 years, but it did not include catering services of Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto trains.

Passengers in premier trains are entitled to meals and snacks for which charges are included in the price of the ticket.

Railway Ministry had constituted a committee to study and suggest revision of tariff and menu of standard meals in premier and other mail and Express trains.

“The decision to revise the tariff was taken after examining the committee’s recommendations as well as suggestions from the Railway Board,” the official said.

Cash-strapped Railways has announced a slew of measures to improve catering services in all 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 supplied from reputed brands only.

“We are working out details which include changes in the menu in Rajdhani and other premier trains with the aim to provide good quality food to passengers,” he said.
http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/rs-20-hike-in-rajdhani-shatabdi-and-duronto-fares-likely-322733?pfrom=home-otherstories

Railway ticket discount to be restricted to basic fare

The railway ministry has decided to restrict the discount on rail tickets to beneficiaries to the basic fare.
From April 1, the concession will be given only on base fare component of the ticket, and it will not be provided on catering, reservation and supplementary charges.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, Neeraj Sharma, chief public relations officer, Northern Railways, said the concessions applicable in Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Jan Shatabdi and Duronto trains would not be granted on catering, reservation and supplementary charges, including superfast surcharge, enhanced reservation charges, and taxes for the these trains.

He said, “The catering charges for these trains were inbuilt as part of the ticket fare. As such, the taxes levied thereon need to be incorporated based on sector-wise calculations. The service tax changes year after year, so the tax element will be separated from the apportionment of catering charges and sector-wise service tax will be calculated separately.”

He said while all other prevailing taxes — VAT, general service tax and new taxes — would be imposed under the governing law, the tax on catering services rendered in these trains where catering charges are included in the ticket fare, would be collected by railways from the passengers separately.

A railway reservation ticket includes basic fare, reservation charge, safety charge, service tax, additional superfast charge and catering charge.

Currently, beneficiaries get concession on catering, safety and other supplementary charges on such trains. But from April they would get concession only on basic fare while the charges would be taken separately on various services offered on the reserved tickets.

“The beneficiaries will now have to pay an additional amount of Rs. 80 to Rs. 100 on their tickets,” Sharma said.

The concession in fare is availed by senior citizens, disabled, patients, medical professionals, war widows, students, artists, sportspersons and national awardees, which varies for each of these categories.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Punjab/Jalandhar/Railway-ticket-discount-to-be-restricted-to-basic-fare/SP-Article1-971599.aspx

Discount on railway fares to reduce

The concessional fare for a journey on the Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Janshatabdi and Duronto expresses is set to increase with effect from April 1, 2013. The railway ministry has decided to provide discount only on the base fare component.

A railway reservation ticket fare includes basic fare, reservation charge, safety charge, service tax, additional superfast charge and catering charge. Till now, passengers were allowed concession on catering, safety and other supplementary charges on the mentioned trains.

The railway board has now decided that concessions will be given only on the base fare.

The concessional fare is availed by senior citizens, the disabled, medical professionals and national awardees. The amount of concession varies for each of these categories.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Discount-on-railway-fares-to-reduce/articleshow/17447056.cms

Housekeeping service likely on more trains

Encouraged by the response, railways has decided to introduce ‘on-board housekeeping services (OBHS)’ on more running mail and express trains at the country level. The railways has already introduced this new scheme in all Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto and Garib Rath trains across the country.

According to a Railway Board official, this scheme has so far been introduced in about 300 trains, including important long-distance express trains, at the country level. Under the scheme, a team of cleaning workers are hired by railways to keep coach toilets, doorways, aisles and passenger coaches neat and clean during journey from the originating to terminating stations, he said, adding railways has been incurring huge expenditure on OBHS scheme to provide homely comforts to passengers.

Under OBHS, the cleaning staff are required to be present on board the trains concerned. Passengers can call them to clean the coaches and toilets if they find them dirty and unhygienic, he said.

According to sources, identification of trains for provision of OBHS scheme is still an ongoing process in every zone of railways. Cost of OBHS provision could vary from train to train as it depends on the number and type of coaches, sources said, adding railways has been executing ‘OBHS’ scheme on public-private partnership (PPP) basis across the country.

An ECR official said about 25 pairs of mail and express trains have been brought under the ‘OBHS’ scheme in the zone. This scheme has been implemented under all five divisions of ECR. Railways has been keeping a close watch on the performance of the cleaning workers. He said Mughalsarai, Barauni, Muzaffarpur and Dhanbad have been made main centres of OBHS scheme.

According to Danapur rail division PRO Ranjit Kumar Singh, the division has introduced OBHS scheme in most of the trains originating from Rajendra NagarTerminal, Patna Junction and Danapur stations. Railways has set up a team of railway officials to make surprise check of cleanliness on running trains.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-10-14/patna/34448405_1_obhs-scheme-danapur-rail-division-railway-board

Railways to take over catering services from IRCTC

Railways to take over catering services from IRCTC

A man boards a local train at a railway station in Kolkata February 24, 201…Railways has decided to strip the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC) of its catering responsibilities on the Rajdhani, Duronto, Shatabdi and all other mail and express trains.

The Catering Policy-2010 finalised by Railways have clearly spelt out that “Railways shall progressively take over management of all mobile catering services including base kitchens, pantry cars and all food stalls in railway premises”.

Railways cool to Montek critique

At present, IRCTC, a Railway subsidiary, is responsible for serving food in about 300 trains including in premier trains like Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi.

With this move, IRCTC will forgo a catering business worth at least Rs 200 crores, said a senior IRCTC official.

The Railway Board will now determine the menu and tariff for the standard meals, breakfast, tea and coffee, which are included in the fare.

The new policy comes in the wake of increased passenger complaints about the quality of food served on board trains and in stations.

IRCTC will now be responsible for selling e-ticket and i-ticket and running the Rail Neer business.

Besides, it will manage Food Plaza, Food Courts, fast food units.

However, the policy has stipulated that “all such contracts presently being managed by IRCTC, on expiry of the contract period, will be awarded by the zonal railways in a phased manner”.

IRCTC will not renew any contract required to be handed over to zonal railways on expiry of the contract.

Railways Ministry has been negligent: CPI(M)

At present, there are about 65 food plazas across the country.

Railways will now formulate operating guidelines to implement the new catering policy.

Plagued with passenger complaints, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee had stated in her Budget speech this year that a new catering policy will be announced to improve the food quality.

Incidentally, IRCTC was formed during Mamata Banerjee’s regime in 2001.

The Jan Ahaar outlets started recently by Railways to provide affordable meals to all class of people will also be managed by zonal railways.

The policy took over a year to be finalised.

The last policy catering policy was formulated during Lalu Prasad’s regime in 2005.

http://sify.com/finance/railways-to-take-over-catering-services-from-irctc-news-economy-khwouciiejc.html