Mumbai caterers complain about Rail Neer supply | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Mumbai caterers complain about Rail Neer supply

Apr 25, 2024 09:17 AM IST

Mumbai railway caterers complain of IRCTC's failure to supply Rail Neer water bottles, urging end to monopoly

Mumbai: Railway caterers have complained against the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) for its failure to ensure supply of Rail Neer packaged drinking water bottles. With the IRCTC partially withdrawing supply of bottled water till May 1 despite the prevailing heat, the Western Railway Caterers Association has urged railway authorities to end the monopoly of Rail Neer at stalls on station premises.

Monday saw the cancellation of several trains, including 12241 Chandigarh-Amritsar, 12411 Chandigarh-Amritsar Junction Intercity Express, 14629 Chandigarh-Firozpur Cantt. Sutlez Express, and 12412 Amritsar Junction-Chandigarh Intercity Express, according to Indian Railways officials. (HT File)
Monday saw the cancellation of several trains, including 12241 Chandigarh-Amritsar, 12411 Chandigarh-Amritsar Junction Intercity Express, 14629 Chandigarh-Firozpur Cantt. Sutlez Express, and 12412 Amritsar Junction-Chandigarh Intercity Express, according to Indian Railways officials. (HT File)

Owing to the IRCTC withdrawing supplies, Rail Neer will not be available on the central line beyond Dadar except at LTT and Pune, all stations on the harbour line excluding Panvel, and all stations beyond Bandra Terminus on the western line till Surat.

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In its letter, the Western Railway Caterers Association has asked railway authorities to end the monopoly of Rail Neer due to frequent breakdowns in its supply. The association, which has over 150 members who own around 275-300 stalls at various railway stations in Mumbai, said the breakdown in supply was causing significant inconvenience to both passengers and stakeholders of their association.

“It is surprising that despite frequent complaints and reports, the administration has failed to take any action against IRCTC. Non-supply of Rail Neer is inflicting financial losses upon our members,” said the letter.

The letter urges the railways to levy heavy penalties in case of rupture in supply of bottled water. “In this peak of summer, making alternative arrangements for other brands of bottled water is tough. Not only are we paying more from our pockets, but we are forced to buy more crates than needed,” said a catering stall owner.

Some IRCTC officials attributed the partial withdrawal of supplies to routine maintenance work at the Ambernath Rail Neer plant, but others said it was unusual for the Ambernath plant to remain shut for maintenance for long. Sources said the hot form labelling machine at the plant, which produces 14,500 cartons of 12 one-litre bottles each daily, had broken down, affecting supplies to static vendors on the railway network.

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