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No bill for food on trains? Have it for free! IRCTC staff to sport “No Bill – The Food is Free” on uniforms

The service staff of Kota Jan Shatabdi Express and Durg – Jammu Tawi Express has been provided with uniforms displaying the message “No Bill – The Food is Free”.

No more overcharging for food on Indian Railways trains! A few months ago Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had said that passengers on Indian Railways trains need not pay for the food they are purchasing onboard, if the vendor is unable to furnish a bill. So, if you are a frequent traveller on Indian Railways, you would be glad to know that you can have your meal for free if you do not receive a bill for your food from the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). Interestingly, to spread awareness about the same, the service staff of Kota Jan Shatabdi Express and Durg – Jammu Tawi Express has been provided with uniforms displaying the message “No Bill – The Food is Free”.

The step has been taken by Piyush Goyal-chaired Railway Ministry in order to educate passengers that they will not have to pay for their food if they do not get a bill for the same. In addition to this, the national transporter has also mandated the service staff to carry POS machines to maintain transparency in billing procedures.

Earlier this year, it was reported that between the months of April 2018 and October 2018, there were more than 7,000 overcharging complaints. The move has been implemented, following Railway Minister Piyush Goyal’s instruction of taking strict action against erring vendors or food servers. The move also includes cancellation of their licences if prices are not mentioned on food boxes that are served on trains.

Indian Railways is taking a number of measures to offer more comforts for passengers and ensure accountability as well as transparency in catering services. On February 2017, a policy was issued under which IRCTC was asked to implement unbundling of catering services by making a distinction between food preparation and its distribution on trains. For this, the meals served on Indian Railways were mandated to be sourced from kitchens owned, managed and operated by the corporation.

In the past two years, a total of 46 Kitchen Units were upgraded by the corporation. Also, CCTVs were installed in 38 Kitchen units of IRCTC. Moreover, sharing of live streaming of the kitchen units through IRCTC’s official web portal has also been made operational by the national transporter.

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Source: Financial Express