Passengers have to specifically opt out from the mandatory food option and catering charges will be excluded from the ticket fare
Seeking to explore the possibility of making mandatory catering services optional on trains, Railways on Wednesday announced to undertake the scheme on Nizamuddin-Mumbai August Kranti Rajdhani Express and Pune-Secunderabad Shatabdi Express.
We had announced in the budget to make catering service optional in a few selected trains and today we are launching the same, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said here after launching the scheme.
According to the scheme, optional catering service will be provided on trial basis to passengers from June 9.
However, catering services will be included by default.
Passengers have to specifically opt out from the mandatory food option and catering charges will be excluded from the ticket fare.
Also, passengers will not be allowed to change their options at any point of time once they exercise such an option at the time of booking their tickets.
Catering charges ranges from Rs 175 to Rs 340 will be deducted from the total fare if the passenger opts out from the mandatory food option. Prabhu said till now total 101 initiatives are being undertaken for passenger benefits.
Prabhu also inaugurated an elevated booking office and escalator at Kandivali station and two escalators at Goregaon station, both in suburban Mumbai.
Railways to provide baby food at stations
In a move that will help mothers who are travelling, railways today launched a facility to provide baby food at stations.
Named as Janani Sewa, Railways will ensure availability of essential items like hot milk and water at stations under the scheme.
"We are introducing Janani Sewa to make mothers happy," Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said after launching the scheme in New Delhi.
He said the initiative was taken after a complaint of a mother about the absence of milk at rail premises.
"Once a mother had tweeted about milk unavailability in the train and taking note of her complaint on the social networking site, we had ensured milk at that train," he said.
The facility is being introduced at over 25 stations including New Delhi, Mumbai Central, Howrah, Chennai, Nagpur, Pune, Surat, Lucknow and Moradabad.
Besides baby food, railways also launched children menu items like burgers for children between 5-12 years of age group.
Prabhu said "we have taken steps to fulfill all our budget promises. While many have been implemented, the rest are at various stages of implementation."
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