The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has been held deficient in services for booking a picnic package for a special train - Fairy Queen - even before the service actually started, and will now will have to pay Rs 15,000 as compensation for inconvenience caused to a bank manager.
The complaint had been filed here by M Suresh Kumar, chief manager, Canara bank, Tamil Nadu, who was posted in Chandigarh at the time. The complaint accused the IRCTC of wrong facilitation of 'Picnic Tour: Ticket Booking' on its website, whereas the services were not actually available. It was on November 9, 2010, that Kumar booked an e-ticket from Delhi for a picnic to Alwar for November 27, 2010. On reaching Delhi, the railway station authorities told him that the Fairy Queen service was not ready for the season.
The forum, presided over by PL Ahuja, said in its order dated November 7, "Though the IRCTC refunded Rs 10,200 after cancellation of the ticket on November 29, 2010… the fact remains that the complainant had to face unnecessary travel, agony, acute pain and inconvenience on account of the negligence of the officials of the IRCTC."
In its reply, the corporation had submitted that it is only a facilitator for booking of package tickets online, whereas the package of Fairy Queen is formulated, marketed and operated by the National Rail Museum and the ministry of railways. They also submitted that the tour was cancelled by the ministry of railways due to non-availability of the train locomotives on November 23, and the cancellation was duly notified to all concerned, including the complainant, on his mobile number.
But the forum observed that the IRCTC "has not produced any call details, which could show that the complainant was informed about the cancellation". The forum also directed the IRCTC to refund `6,880 spent by Kumar on travelling and allied expenses from Chandigarh to Delhi and back on November 27 and 28, 2010. IRCTC will also have to pay Rs 7,500 as cost of litigation.