Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Problem Of Overcharging in Trains

Steps Taken By Indian Railways To Curb Overcharging

Indian Railways Tourism and Catering Corporation (IRCTC) serves food & beverages items to passengers through Pantry Cars/ mobile/ static units of licensee/ departmental canteens. Overcharging relates to the charges collected by service staff of these units over and above approved rate or printed MRP prescribed/ fixed by IRCTC/ Railway Board. Lesser quantity served than what is prescribed is also overcharging.

To avoid overcharging, ask for the standard menu of Indian Railways and proper bill, before making any payment. If they agree, they will provide you proper bills according to the standard menu and you can pay the due amount without being overcharged. If they disagree with you and charge higher than standard menu, ask for a complaint book and lodge a complaint. You can also make online complaint by visiting Indian Railways Complaint Portal.


  • Overcharging on Meals: Adding extra dish without order of passengers; Charging on account of non availability of change; Charging extra for chilled PDW (Packaged Drinking Water) bottle;  Adding items to combo meals without order of passengers and not as per prescribed menu.
  • Overcharging on Tea & Coffee
  • Overcharging of PAD items (Packaged Milk, Biscuit, Namkeen, Snacks, Chips, Juice, Fruit Drinks, Confectionary etc) over and above printed MRP

Actions Taken By Railways To Curb Overcharging

  • Drive on overcharging
  • Pasting of Bilingual Menu Stickers in Mail/ Express trains
  • Drive on overcharging
  • Instructions to QCPs to cover this particular aspect in their inspections.
  • Letter issued to licensees to stop overcharging
  • Punitive action against licensee on overcharging.
  • Time to time counseling of licensees and their service staff.
  • Rounding off to amount in Rupee.

Drive On Overcharging

The drive is conducted to check the overcharging by the licensee while serving various standard food items and proprietary articles food products such as packaged drinking water, biscuits, cold drinks, etc. These drives have resulted in drastic reduction of complaints from the passengers on quantity of food items and overcharging as stringent action has been taken against the defaulting licensee.

Whenever Control Offices come across telephonic complaint on overcharging, the same are being redressed on-line by the concerned control office who interacts with the pantry car staff & passengers on the spot.

Complaint Management System (CMS)

On-line Complaint Management System has been introduced to facilitate the passengers for lodging their online complaint by logging on our website at Complaint is sent directly to the concerned licensee for immediate submission of comments. A unique complaint number is allotted to the complainant for viewing the status by the complainant at any time. An auto-generated reply with the unique complaint number is sent to the complainant mail id. This system is also assessable with all the Zonal/ Regional/ Corporate Officers. In addition to this, we are also in process of automizing inspections in CMS. QCPs & IRCTC officials will be able to  directly feed in their inspections in Mobile & Static inspection formats in CMS.

National Toll Free No.

A toll free number 1800111139 has been launched for swift redressal of complaints & suggestions conveyed by passengers on phone. Passengers can call this no. from train as well without any charges & register their grievance/ suggestion at complaint cells of Zonal control offices which are 24 x 7 operational. The coverage of the toll free number has been done by some of the leading newspapers and the same is also printed in the menu cards and tray mats. An advertisement is also underway for nationwide publicity.

Complaints Through SMS

In order to facilitate another option of lodging complaint/suggestion by passenger, facility of receipt of complaint through SMS on 9711111139 has already been started. This will enable the travelling passengers to get their complaints redressed by quickest means.

Control Offices - 24 X 7 Operation

In order to monitor the quality of catering services overall, Central Control has been set up at New Delhi which is fully equipped with Phone, Fax, PC with broadband connectivity and scanner and round the clock operational. All the zonal offices are also having Zonal control offices to monitor the quality of catering services. The control offices monitor the VIP movements, redressal of telephonic complaints as well as monitoring of tourism trains. In case of any abnormality of train operation, control offices informed all concerned service provider for making provision of catering services so as to avoid any public complaint. Our Zonal Control

Offices nos. & Central Control no. are as under:-

Control Office at New Delhi: 011-23221147
Control Office at Mumbai: 022-22618067
Control Office at Kolkata: 033-26601743
Control Office at Chennai: 044-25353341
Control Office at Secunderabad: 040-27716145
Central Control: 011-23345300

Pasting of bi-lingual menu stickers to arrest Overcharging

Time to Time, the drive for pasting of menu stickers are launched by Zonal/Regional officers to paste standard menu stickers in the coaches of Mail/Express trains so as to spread awareness among the travelling passengers on Rates & Quantity of meal items.

The purpose of pasting the menu stickers in the coaches to bring awareness among the passengers on quantity & rates of meal items of the standard menu as well as other relevant information like Toll Free Number for lodging their grievances/suggestions, standard rates of tea/coffee, Rail Neer etc.

Regarding passenger awareness about Rates and Quantity of standard meal items, service providers have been instructed to print tray mats in the Mail/Express trains nominated to them with Rates & Quantity printed on them.

  • Carry change to avoid overcharging.
  • Demands bills/receipt, grammage
  • Check MRP & date of expiry
  • Buy food items only from stalls and not from unauthorized vendors either at platform or in train.
  • Check the brand of packed items
  • Demand complaint book
  • Use Toll Free No. 1800-111-139 & SMS on 9971111139
  • If you are not satisfied with the service do tell us on control nos.
  • All IRCTC employees are at your service
IRCTC LOGIN and Indian Railways Additional Resources:

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