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Zee Business’ #MRPParDoKhana campaign results in IRCTC taking action against overcharging by vendors

Several passengers had earlier complained that they were being overcharged for purchasing food items or having unwanted items added to their menu on trains

The Zee Business team looked into the matter of overcharging by vendors running pantry on train with an investigative lens, and initiated #MRPParDoKhana news reportage and awareness campaign. 

Several customers have complained that food was being sold from the pantry at more than the fixed rate of IRCTC. Ignorance in checking the MRP, has resulted in vendors taking undue advantage and overcharging passengers for food items. i.e. Passengers end up paying 50 Rs extra over and above the actual MRP. 

The purpose of Zee Business’ consumer-centric news story was to educate its viewers on the responsible initiatives that need to be taken, both by the consumers and IRCTC. 

While the Zee Business team encouraged audiences to report any such overcharging instances by tweeting using the hashtag #MRPParDoKhana, it also alerted IRCTC to take immediate action. 

As a result, the official body also issued an order to vendors, asking them to stop the practice of overcharging immediately and avoid selling paneer mixed with food to justify the inflated prices. 

IRCTC wrote a letter to the Group General Managers of five zones, instructing them to take quick action against offenders and submit a report regarding the same at the earliest. It further threatened vendors with stopping the a la Carte system. 

Further, taking cognisance of passengers' inconvenience, IRCTC will select trains on 10 routes for inspections, and surprise inspections of trains on crowded routes will be done.

The news reportage and presentation of facts resulted in immediate changes that will be witnessed by passengers soon: 

  • Rate cards will be displayed at easily visible places in all coaches.
  • Bills for food items, and drinking water bottles will be provided to passengers to avoid being overcharged.  
  • Staffers who supply food items to coaches will also be informed about rate cards of food items.
  • Passengers can complain about the quality and quantity of food items.
  • Seal of RailNeer bottles is mandatory.
  • IRCTC is setting up 4 new water plants.
  • New water plants will be set up to increase the supply. 

Anil Singhvi, Managing Editor, Zee Business, said, “Zee Business’ responsible journalism has been consistent in presenting factual details supporting consumer rights on a timely basis. The news reportage on overcharging for purchasing food items or having unwanted items added to their menu on trains is just one of the many impactful examples of investigative journalism and consumer awareness campaign taken up by us. We look forward to further engaging with our viewers and stakeholders with the sole purpose of helping each one to make informed decisions on a timely basis.”

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