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Does Indian Railways take action on private contractors/caterers, in response to complaints by passengers? If so, what are the penalties levied?  
3 Answers
Jul 31 2011 (11:22AM)
General

Entry# 385     
moderator*^~
Does Indian Railways take action on private contractors/caterers, in response to complaints by passengers? If so, what are the penalties levied?

Aug 02 2011 (2:53AM)
News Entry# 32411  Highest ever fine in Indian Railways  
Posted by: D Pravin   Added by: moderator*^~  Aug 02 2011 (2:54AM)
In a pathbreaking disciplinary measure, a fine of Rs 12 lakh was imposed on a Railway catering contractor whose employees had assaulted four passengers of the Howrah-bound Gitanjali Express on July 25 this year. This fine amount is highest ever among all the fines imposed on catering contractors over Indian Railways, Railway sources here today claimed.
They said the fine was imposed on the contractor after a thorough enquiry and after taking the statements of the four passengers who were assaulted by the catering staff.
Incidentally, in addition to the Gitanjali Express incident,
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the contractor was found guilty of committing similar crime in two other incidents earlier.
Accordingly, an explanation had also been sought from the contractor concerned regarding certain other issues where negligence and violation of railway safety norms were involved.

Aug 02 2011 (2:53AM)
News Entry# 32203  Railway fine  
Posted by: rdb*^   Added by: moderator*^~  Jul 31 2011 (9:44PM)
The railways has imposed a fine of Rs 12 lakh on the catering contractor whose employees had assaulted four passengers on the Howrah-bound Gitanjali Express on July 25. The fine on Brandavan Food Products is the highest the railways has ever imposed on a catering agency.

Aug 02 2011 (2:53AM)
News Entry# 32132  SER imposes Rs 12 lakh fine on Gitanjali caterer  
Posted by: Pp*^~   Added by: moderator*^~  Jul 31 2011 (11:22AM)
South Eastern Railway (SER) has imposed a fine of Rs 12 lakh on Brandavan Food Products, the private agency engaged by it to serve meals on the Howrah-Mumbai Gitanjali Express. This is the highest ever fine imposed on any private catering agency by the Indian Railways, officials confirmed. The caterer was fined after an SER inquiry confirmed that staff hired by the agency assaulted four passengers on Monday after the latter protested an attempt to charge more for meals.
The matter came to light after the victims lodged a complaint with the Government Railway Police (GRP) at Kharagpur on Monday. Five catering staff, including their supervisor, were arrested. Earlier, TOI had highlighted the plight of the passengers and also revealed the
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murky details of alleged hobnobbing between private caterers and a section of railway officers based in Delhi. It was revealed how such agencies get away by paying a pittance after harassing passengers, thanks to their 'contacts' in the Railway Board.
It was reported how cartels are involved in bagging catering contracts, both on trains as well as station premises. Officials in Delhi admitted that a couple of big names run the show by floating smaller agencies and getting them to bid for the contracts. Palms are allegedly greased to keep out genuine agencies on technical grounds. One of the victims of Monday's assault, who was attacked with a dagger inside the train's pantry car, was told by a bearer that his boss is a 'big man' with a lot of clout in the railways and can even get away with murder. He mentioned it in his complaint to SER officials, a day after the incident.
"Till date, private agencies didn't bother as the quantum of fine was a mere Rs 20,000 to Rs 50,000. They would make up for this in a few trips. The caterers wouldn't repent even after such incidents and openly told officials that they allow staff to overcharge passengers as they are not good paymasters. Hopefully, after being forced to cough up this large sum, the agency and other licensees will think twice before allowing their staff a free hand," a railway official in Delhi said.
A section of railway officials are quite happy with the development as they have also been at the receiving end of the high-handedness by such agencies at times. Several complaints lodged by them would go unheard. While inquiring into the assault on passengers, it came to light that Brandavan Food Products had been reported against twice earlier, after inspections by the vigilance and commercial departments.
It has also been learnt that SER has sought an explanation from the agency on certain other issues where negligence and violation of railway safety norms were involved.
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