Railways stops packaged foods sale in Vande Bharat trains for 6 months after consumer complaints
Vande Bharat train passengers complained about the the storage of packaged food items in the entryway, due to which automated doors were opened frequently. The interruption was causing inconvenience to passengers as their movement was hindered.
Vande Bharat Train Services: After receiving several complaints from Vande Bharat train passengers that sales of PAD (bakery products, wafers, confectionery items, cold drinks, etc.) and a la carte items were causing inconvenience to them, the railway ministry swung into action and banned sales of packaged food items in the train for the next six months.
The ministry issued a circular regarding the ban on sales, saying the decision is on a pilot basis and will be reviewed after six months.
The decision was made after consumers complained of unhygienic conditions on Vande Barat trains.
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"It has been observed that allowing the sale of PAD (bakery products, wafers, confectionery items, cold drinks etc.) and a la carte items is leading to increasing complaints from passengers," the circular said.
What was the problem for Vande Bharat train passengers?
The main problem was the storage of packaged food items in the entryway, due to which automated doors were opened frequently.
The interruption was causing inconvenience to passengers as their movement was hindered.
What did the railway ministry say in its circular?
“Keeping in view the above matters, it has been decided that permission for the sale of PAD items/a la carte will be discontinued in Vande Bharat trains on a pilot basis for six months.”
What did the railway ministry tell IRCTC?
In its circular, the ministry also asked the IRCTC not to stock up on pennybottles and store water bottles in time.
The ministry says bottles will now be stocked and refilled for a single trip, as it will save a lot of space.
The ministry says it is preparing to provide service on the lines of airlines.
How to book food on Vande Bharat trains?
Regarding catering services, passengers will have to pre-book their food.
SMS will be sent for reconfirmation 24 to 48 hours before the journey starts.
Those who do not opt for prepaid meals will be charged an additional fee of Rs 50 if ordered on the train and if the meal is available.
SMS will also inform passengers about the food and the quantity of food served.
What was the other complaint from Vande Bharat passengers?
Many passengers complained that they were served vegetarian breakfast even though they had paid for non-vegetarian breakfast.
The ministry says the new system will bring more transparency, and passengers will know what they are paying for.
All zonal railways have been asked to make announcements regarding pantry services in Vande Bharat trains at the originating stations as well as each boarding station.
To ensure that passengers get chilled bottled water and hot food, the concerned departments will ensure that the pantry equipment is in working order before the commencement of the journey.