SILCHAR, April 10 - Despite being the world�s largest railway network with more than 15000 trains running across the country everyday, passengers are seemingly unhappy with the Indian Railways. The annoyance is with regard to the alleged overcharge on meals provided by the IRCTC.
According to Pranabananda Das, a resident of Silchar and a journalist who was travelling with his cousin Parikshit Chakraborty from Mumbai to Howrah in the Geetanjali Express on April 5, a vegetarian meal was charged Rs 150. �We had ordered for lunch and dinner till our destination at Howrah on 6th April. When I was charged Rs 600, I found the rates quite exorbitant and asked for the menu. The servicemen refused to comply with my request saying that they are offering best quality food to us. But after much persuasion, they handed over a memo bearing Satyam Caterers which had no impression of the IRCTC. This forced me to send a tweet to the Ministry of Railways, the Railway Minister and also to the IRCTC,� Das said on Sunday.
However, Das informed that the IRCTC East Zone sent replies to his tweet which read �the concerned service provider has been suitably fined for the lapses.� In his words, when it is clearly mentioned in the IRCTC menu card that no alteration can be made on the rates, how can the pantry car sell meals at inflated rates. A vegetarian meal was charged Rs 150 instead of the specified rate of Rs 50 and non-vegetarian meal is charged Rs 180 instead of Rs 55 only. For a cup of tea or coffee which costs Rs 7, passengers are forced to pay Rs 10 and Rs 30 respectively. Interestingly, when egg is in the official non-vegetarian dish in the IRCTC menu, the service provider was serving chicken dishes to the passengers, Das mentioned.
Further, the scribe said that imposing fines against such foul practices through which lakhs of rupees in black money is being earned from the trains plying across the country will not be enough. The passengers need to be aware and point out the flaws so that their hard-earned money is saved.