Food in AC coaches may get costlier

NEW DELHI: A Railway Board panel has proposed increase in the prices of food items served to passengers. As per the proposal, the overall increase in item rates would be higher for passengers traveling in AC-II, III and chair car categories, but would be minimum for AC-I.

Sources said some of the key recommendations of the committee were presented before railway minister C P Joshi last week. Now, the ministry has to take a final call on these recommendations.

The panel was set up in January after Joshi’s predecessor Pawan Kumar Bansal took charge of the ministry and had said that people are ready to pay little more if it helps improve quality of services. The panel’s proposal seems aimed at both improving services and reducing railways’ loss in catering services, which was Rs 67.04 crore in 2011-12.

As per the proposal, a cup of morning tea would cost less for all categories – Rs 15 for AC-I and executive class and Rs 10 for all others. The panel has recommended that lunch and dinner for passengers traveling in AC-II, III and chair car compartments should go up from existing Rs 88 to Rs 125. But in the case of the other two premium categories of passengers, there would be only Rs 13 hike for lunch and dinner. Breakfast prices should increase by Rs 24 for AC-I, and Rs 31 for other categories of passengers.

A comparison of existing ticket price and changes after the proposed increase in the case of Delhi-Mumbai Rajdhani shows that a premium class passenger would have to pay only Rs 8 more, while AC II, III and chair car passengers would end up paying an additional Rs 64.

The panel has also recommended for some “additional” items on the menu to ramp up the variety, while some others can be deleted to balance the tariffs.