Prepare to pay more for tea and coffee on Indian Railways trains as IRCTC hikes rate

Enjoy drinking tea or coffee while traveling on Indian Railways trains? Now, you will have to shell out more to drink tea and coffee during your train journey as Indian Railways has revised the rate to Rs 10 from Rs 7.

The e-ticketing and catering arm of the national transporter, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has recently issued the order after reviewing the tariff and menu of meals on board, according to an HT report. The circular issued by the Railway Board on 18 September 2018 states that tariff of tea as well as coffee is revised and is fixed at Rs 10 per cup. However, the circular further added that standard tea (not dip tea) will be available at Rs 5.

The Railway Board has asked IRCTC to change the licence fee accordingly and to adjust the price of the beverages as per requirement. At present, the catering corporation caters to around 350 train services that have pantry cars. Meanwhile, it has been reported that there will be no change in prices in Rajdhani Express and Shatabdi Express train services as the food package in these superfast trains are prepaid. An IRCTC official was quoted in the report saying that the corporation requested the Railway Board to revise the rates of tea and coffee after complaints about vendors overcharging for these beverages.

Earlier, caterers suggested to the Railway Board that all food items should be priced in multiples of five in order to help railway passengers and to reduce instances of overcharging. Therefore, after being flooded with complaints over being overcharged for meals, water bottles as well as tea and coffee on trains, the Railway Ministry issued a rate card. Also, the rate list was posted by the ministry on Twitter and people were asked to lodge a complaint if they are overcharged by vendors.

Recently, in order to prevent overcharging, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal announced that if any vendor fails to provide a bill to the passenger, the food will be free. He also asked the catering staff to use POS (point of sale) machines for accounting. Additionally, the Railway Ministry recently introduced ‘Menu on Rails’ app for passengers to check the menu served on trains along with the prices.