PUNE: Though the Railway Ministry keeps making tall claims on improving services, the ground reality is far from satisfactory, as private vendors are demanding ‘tips’ from passengers during the journey.
Recently, a passenger travelling in the Howrah-Pune Duranto Express claimed that vendors demanded a tip for their services during the journey.
A city-based student activist, Pranay Ajmera (28), was returning from Nagpur by train number 12222 Howrah-Pune Duranto Express on July 6. He said that when the train was about to reach Daund, a vendor started collecting tips from passengers.
“I and my wife were travelling in Duranto Express and we were coming from Nagpur. When the train departed the Duand station, some vendors, sweepers and attendants sought tips. I immediately tweeted to the Ministry of Railways on their official account and asked them to warn the culprits but not to take any action, as I didn’t want the poor fellows to suffer. The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) soon replied and a fine has been imposed on the contractor,” Pranay told Sakal Times.
This is not the first time that vendors sought tips in AC trains. Similar incidents have been reported by Delhi-bound passengers. Ajay Pratap (45), a businessman, was on a tour to Pune and was returning by the Pune-Hazrat Nizamuddin Express.
“I booked my ticket on the Pune-Hazarat Nizamuddin Duranto Express in the last week of June, as I was on a business tour to Pune. When the train left Mathura, some vendors started asking for tips. I was surprised that even after so many instructions from the Ministry of Railways, these vendors still sought tips. Some passengers paid, but I refused to pay,” Pratap said.
According to IRCTC officials, if passengers have complaints, they can tweet to IRCTC’s official account.
“When we received the complaint by Pranay Ajmera, immediate action was taken against the contractor. A fine was also imposed and a warning was issued not to repeat the mistake,” said a senior official of IRCTC.