Seeking to explore the possibility of making mandatory catering services optional on trains, Railways yesterday announced to undertake the scheme on Nizamuddin-Mumbai August Kranti Rajdhani Express and Pune-Secunderabad Shatabdi Express.
“We had announced in the budget to make catering service optional in a few selected trains and today, we are launching the same,” said Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. Under the scheme, optional catering will be provided on trial basis to passengers from June 9.
However, the services will be included by default. Passengers have to specifically opt out from the mandatory food option and catering charges ranging from Rs 175 to Rs 340 will be excluded from the ticket fare.
Also, passengers will not be allowed to change their options at any point of time once they exercise such an option at the time of booking their tickets.
Prabhu said till now total 101 initiatives are being undertaken for passenger benefits.
In a move that will help travelling mothers, the railways yesterday launched a facility to provide baby food at stations. Named as Janani Sewa, railways will ensure availability of essential items like hot milk and water at stations under the scheme. The facility is being introduced at over 25 stations.