An open letter to the authorities concerned regarding:
1. Non-availability of Standard Veg Meals for dinner on 22647 & 22648
2. Poor quality of food
I recently travelled with my parents and family (Total six passengers) from Trivandrum & Chengennur on August 31 to Durg by 22648 TVC – Korba SF Exp and return from Durg on September 10 to Chengennur & Trivandrum by 22647 Korba – TVC SF Exp. (PNR Nos. 4647776080, 4135060696, 6204798452 & 6304894965 all 3AC). I would like to bring to your notice few issues that need to be addressed on an urgent basis.
1. The option of Standard Vegetarian Meals costing Rs.50/- was not available on both trains for dinner. Instead, we had to pay Rs.118/- on 22648 and Rs.105/- on 22647 for special veg meals (pulav, four roti & sabji). No sweet or curd.
I tweeted about this issue from @anilpv21 on the night of Aug 31st and there was prompt action. The onboard Manager on 22648 apologised saying it was a mistake on the part of the Vendor and took only Rs.50/- from me but all others had to pay Rs.118/-.
They put tremendous pressure on me to withdraw the complaint. They wanted me to give a written statement that I am withdrawing the complaint which I did not do. The second night of the journey, they provided Std veg meals only for us while all others got special meals only.
2. During the return journey by 22647, the vendor said there was no Std veg meals option in the menu for dinner. We had to buy food at much higher rates from the vendor. I request you to take stringent action against the catering Licensee of 22647 & 22648 for failing to provide std veg meals for dinner on these trains and charging exorbitantly from the hapless passengers for dinner. They should be penalised and if possible, we should be paid some compensation from the vendor.
See how the rates for standard meals have been blackened out on the menu card.
3. The quality of meals served was pathetic and of very low standards and we did not get water with any meal.
4. All through the four days of travel (to & fro) we got about 120 ml Tea/Coffee on the train with a pack of free digestive biscuits for Rs.10 only.
Some other observations en route:
1. Regular Tea (not dip) from Static Vendors at Salem station was Rs.8/- (Displayed Rate) and at Vijayawada station, it was Rs.10/-
2. Water refill vendor at Vijayawada Station took Rs.10/- for two litres water as against displayed rate of Rs.8. He also refused to take a Rs.10 coin. (Can understand if he said no change but he insisted on Rs.10 and that too, note only).
At the same time, I must complement the onboard cleaning staff who did a fabulous job of keeping the compartments and toilets very clean on both the trains. They definitely deserve a word of appreciation. The bed sheets, pillow covers and towels were also very clean and crisp.
Except for the food issues, it was a memorable journey, our first long rail journey with family and parents in the last 14 years.
In case you have faced any food related problem on any train under Indian Railways, please call 138 or the toll-free helpline 1800-111-321 and register your complaint. You can be assured of prompt action.