Pas­sen­gers can­not ‘opt out’ meals on board Vande Bharat Ex­press

Millennium Post - - Mp Nation - OUR COR­RE­SPON­DENT

NEW DELHI: Meals on board the soon-to-be-launched Vande Bharat Ex­press or Train 18 will not be op­tional for pas­sen­gers un­like in premium trains such as Shatabdi, Ra­jd­hani and Duronto ex­press, where trav­ellers can choose not to take ca­ter­ing ser­vices, of­fi­cials said.

How­ever, pas­sen­gers trav­el­ling the last leg on the route of the semi-high speed train -- Allahabad to Varanasi -will have the choice of opt­ing out of the meals pro­vided by the In­dian Rail­ways Ca­ter­ing and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), in ad­vance while book­ing their tick­ets, the sources told PTI.

The ca­ter­ing charges would not be in­cluded in their ticket prices.

For oth­ers, the prices of the meals will be part of the ticket fare of the train which will run from Varanasi to Delhi on its maiden jour­ney on Fe­bru­ary 15.

If the pas­sen­gers who have opted out in ad­vance want a meal dur­ing their travel, they will have to shell out an ex­tra Rs 50 for it, the sources said.

In 2017, the IRCTC made meals on board pre­paid trains like Ra­jd­hani, Shatabdi and Duronto (which add the meal prices in ticket) with pantry ser­vices op­tional.

It was done to ef­fec­tively con­trol un­fair prac­tices of over­charg­ing, is­sues of qual­ity as well quan­tity and also to avoid wastage of food. This gave the pas­sen­gers op­tion to 'not eat' if he does not want the food sup­plied on board.

This also re­duced the cost of the tick­ets on these trains by around Rs 250.

Talk­ing about Train 18, an of­fi­cial said, "The ca­ter­ing charges be­tween the sta­tions have been fixed and they will be added to the ticket fare of all pas­sen­gers.

"How­ever, pas­sen­gers board­ing the train to travel the fi­nal or first leg of the jour­ney from Varanasi to Allahabad or Allahabad to Varanasi may opt out of the ca­ter­ing ser­vices. They will have to opt out at the time of book­ing."

"A sep­a­rate re­ceipt shall be is­sued to such pas­sen­gers by the IRCTC," the source said.

The train which has two classes of tick­ets -- ex­ec­u­tive class and chair car -- will have dif­fer­ently priced meals, the source said.

While pas­sen­gers trav­el­ling from New Delhi to Varanasi in the ex­ec­u­tive class will be charged Rs 399 for morn­ing tea, break­fast and lunch, trav­ellers in the chair car will need to pay Rs 344 for the same.

Those trav­el­ling from New Delhi to Kan­pur and Prayagraj will have to pay Rs 155 and Rs 122 for ex­ec­u­tive class and chair car, re­spec­tively.

From Varanasi to New Delhi, the pas­sen­gers will be charged Rs 349 and Rs 288 in the ex­ec­u­tive class and chair, re­spec­tively. They will be served evening tea with snacks and din­ner.

The tick­ets in Train 18 or the Vande Bharat Ex­press, which will even­tu­ally re­place Shatabdi trains, will be priced higher than the fares of the premium train. The train will cover the 755-km dis­tance in eight hours with stop­pages at Kan­pur and Prayagraj. It will be the fastest train on the route. The cur­rent fastest train takes around 11-and-a-half-hours to com­plete the jour­ney.

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