Indian Railways Revises Onboard Catering Charges On Premium Trains

by Arun Kumar Das - Jul 20, 2022 10:40 AM +05:30 IST
Indian Railways Revises Onboard Catering Charges On Premium TrainsFood served by IRCTC on trains. Representative image. (@ER_FansClub/Twitter)
Snapshot
  • The Indian Railways has done away with the provision of ‘service’ charge levied on food items ordered by passengers who don’t opt for catering services at the time of booking tickets.

Now your morning tea or coffee in Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto or Vande Bharat trains won’t cost Rs 70 even if you order it onboard during the trip. The Indian Railways has done away with the provision of ‘service’ charge levied on food items ordered by passengers who don’t opt for catering services at the time of booking tickets.

According to a latest notification by the railways, the onboard charges for catering services in prepaid trains for passengers who did not opt for catering services at the time of booking tickets and demanding food onboard, the charges are being revised.

Though for all breakfast, lunch and dinner ordered while travelling will cost Rs 50 more for such passengers than the ones who have opted for catering while booking tickets, the charges for morning tea will be the same for both the category of passengers.

In the circular issued to its ticketing and catering arm, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), the Railway Board has specified the catering charges for tea, breakfast, lunch and dinner for both the category of passengers in pre-booked trains such as Rajdhani, Duronto, Shatabdi, Tejas, Gatimaan and Vande Bharat. The circular says the prices are inclusive of goods and services tax (GST), meaning there will be additional charges.

It said the charges for all food items will be the same for both the categories of passengers in such trains, if any pre-paid train is running late.

The issue of ‘service’ charge collected by the IRCTC for instant ordering of tea and food on board became a big issue after some rail passengers posted how they ended up paying Rs 50 as ‘service’ charge for a Rs 20 tea. The photos of the tax invoices had gone viral on Twitter and other social media platforms.

As per the earlier norm, if a passenger does not pre-order any food while booking a ticket in such pre-paid trains, they need to pay a service charge of Rs 50 while ordering any item during the ride.

However, the railways has now amended the charges after the protest by passengers.

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at akdas2005@gmail.com.


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