The Indian Railways has introduced a new plan on a six month trial basis in which catering services are made optional for trains like Duronto and Rajdhani. As per the new rule, passengers booking a seat on these trains will now have the choice of not opting for food, resulting in lower fare of the tickets.
The new policy is implemented from 1st August, 2017 and will remain effective for 6 months from this date. Here are some major highlights of the latest development:
1. The catering charges will be included in the ticket fare only if a passenger opts for catering services. No catering charge would be applicable for those who don’t want to avail this service at the time of booking.
2. Passengers who don’t wish to opt for the catering service will have to pay less for their ticket as compared to those who opt for the pre-booked meals option. For instance, a second AC ticket on Delhi-Mumbai Rajdhani Express for November last week would cost INR 2590 without the catering option and INR 2865 with food.
3. “Passengers, however, cannot change their option during the journey once they opt out. This scheme will be implemented for six months subject to a mid-term review after three months,” a Railway official was quoted as saying in a report.
4. No Partial Catering services would be offered to passengers who have opted out of this service.
5. Passengers who have booked their ticket prior to 1st August, 2017, will have to pay for the catering services.