Corruption in Indian Railways Catering

indian railway catering menu(Click image to enlarge)

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If irctc website is down, check the following archive captured by internet archive organization on July 5, 2013:

In a recent train journey, a co-passenger had this list which sent tremors across caterers in our compartment and brought down the staff to their knees to the extent that they stopped coming to our compartment later. None of the other co-passengers were aware of how they were being ripped off. Thanks to this guy, we got food at prescribed price (but not at prescribed quality).

Make sure you take a printout of this pic or download it to your phone during your next railway journey.
These caterers have taken passengers for granted, charge exorbitant prices and offer substandard quality, incomplete/insufficient food. In the past, I remember paying Rs 7 for tea of hardly 60-70 ml (less than half of the 170 ml cup) which tastes like sweet boiled water whereas this menu says it must cost Rs 3 for 150ml (and Rs 5 for Express/Mail trains as mentioned in the updated link below).

The non-veg meal which they give has just 2 eggs and rice but this menu mentions additional items like Dal, Paratha, Sweet, Pickle and packaged water in sealed glass!! I am sure the Railways have such lists printed somewhere at the stations too but it would be very effective if such lists are displayed (on plastic laminated sheets so that it cannot be tampered with) in prominent positions inside the train (maybe above each window inside the coach)

Thanks to my friend Davis Tom who has shared the list which caters to Express & Mail trains:

The bullet points under the 2nd list says

  • Bilingual menu sticker is pasted in each coach wherein passenger may ascertain the menu and tariff for food served in trains
  • Passenger may insist on the service providers for issue of cash memos

I dont think any of the trains have such menu stickers in coaches. I hope the railway authorities intervene and make sure that such stickers are in place.
In the worst case when the seller remains adamant and claims that prices have changed recently, then insist for a cash memo (as suggested in the above bullet point). Since it would be like a written proof, there will be a very high probability of the seller changing his tone and agreeing for the prescribed rate.

Thanks to my friend Sandip Keshri for this revised list (As on December 2012)

Sandip shared his experience where he was charged Rs 7 for tea but when he showed this print-out, the seller immediately changed his tone and agreed to accept Rs 5 only.

Make sure you carry a print out of the latest price list (or store it in your phone) while travelling in train next time.

Share this with your friends and suggest how we can curb this corruption..