Bhubaneswar: Indian Railways have made optional the catering services in few selected trains on a trial basis for six months from today. Passengers can now opt out of the catering facility offered by IRCTC while booking their tickets. This would mean tickets on these trains are going to cost less compared to those with pre-booked meals. Passengers, however, cannot change their option during the journey once they opt out. This scheme will be implemented for six months subject to mid-term review after three months.
In view of the above, East Coast Railway has nominated optional catering services optional in two of its Express Trains viz. 12277/12278 Puri-Howrah-Puri Express and 12281/12282 Bhubaneswar-New Delhi-Bhubaneswar Duronto Express from today.
Passengers will be required to mandatorily exercise either of the options at the time of the booking of ticket so as to enable them to be aware of this scheme. Accordingly, catering service will be excluded or included after the mandatory option is exercised by the passengers.
The catering charges shall be included in the ticket fare only in case passengers opt for catering services and excluded in case passengers do not require catering services. Passengers will not be allowed to change their options at any point of time once they exercise option at the time of booking.
No partial catering service shall be provided to passengers under this scheme, thus the option shall include/exclude complete catering service between pairs of stations. Optional catering services on the above mentioned trains will be provided to passengers booking tickets from August 1 onwards for the journeys to commence on August 1 and onwards. For those who have booked tickets by these trains prior to 1st August, 2017, Catering Service will be a part of the ticket fare.