Bottles are not given on 12298 and sold @ Rs. 20 by AC coach attendants on 12297 (perhaps illegally)
They have to provide one bottle for the first 20 hours of travel.
Food cost not included in the fare . hence no free water bottles.
This matter needs investigation. I clearly remember reading in the Menu circular from IRCTC that even in Rajdhani where the short distance traveller has not paid for any catering charges, a cup of tea or coffee should be provided by the contractor as a matter of courtesy.
There is no PC here - then how come the contractor ?