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Parliamentary panel wants more penalties for non-delivery of e-catering food

It also suggested that the voucher amount is “very low and is redeemable in next order only”.

india Updated: Sep 02, 2018 23:40 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
railway ministry,Catering,e-catering
Parliament House at Sansad Marg in New Delhi. (Pradeep Gaur/ Mint)

A parliamentary panel has asked the railway ministry to impose strict penal provisions for non-delivery of food via e-catering, a new initiative that aims to deliver cooked food to passengers at railway stations.

The railway ministry currently imposes a fine of Rs 100 on the vendor for every non-delivery of order while customers are given a full refund of their payment along with a Rs 100 voucher.

In its report on catering policy, the parliamentary standing committee on railways, however, emphasises that “stringent penal provisions should be provided for defaulting companies with imposition of fines, deactivation from website and delisting from empanelment from the services for non-adhering to the orders of passengers.”

It also suggested that the voucher amount is “very low and is redeemable in next order only”. “The redeemable amount may be increased at least to Rs 250 with the options to redeem the same either during ongoing journey or in the next journey as per his/her convenience,” said the panel report submitted in the House last month.

There are eleven aggregators and 359 independent vendors providing services through e-catering at 310 stations, according to the rail ministry data furnished before the panel.

It also added that the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation, will also implement an online mechanism for vendors to get registered and start taking orders for supply to passengers. “Vendors will then not be required to visit the IRCTC’s office in person or fill up an empanelment document,” the panel’s report read.

While the panel has hailed the new catering policy of the IRCTC that aims to provide healthier and tastier food to customers, it also warned against supplying unpurified water straight from the taps, and at times from toilets, to be used in beverages, and presence of rats and cockroaches in kitchens.

The panel also expressed concern over the “mushroom growth of unauthorized vending in trains and at stations”.

First Published: Sep 02, 2018 23:40 IST