Indian Railways directs IRCTC to terminate all contracts of mobile catering

Topics IRCTC

Indian Railways Catering and Toursim corporation Ltd (IRCTC) on Monday said that it has been directed by the Ministry of Railways to terminate all existing contracts of mobile catering, that involves providing cooked food to passengers prepared from base kitchens.

"IRCTC was further directed to treat this case as an exception arising out of pandemic situation and not to treat the case as contractor's default and hence not impose any fine for not providing catering services and also return the Security Deposit (SD) and advance license fee in full after considering valid dues," the company said.

The statement comes amid the issue of mobile catering being raised in a petition by members of Indian Railways' Mobile Caterers Association (ICRMCA) in the Madras High Court on 19 January, 2021. In that order, the Madras HC had directed the Indian Railways to consider the representation by IRMCA to restore their services, which have been suspended since lockdown was announced in March 2020. The court observed that the authorities should give sufficient opportunity to members of the association to put forward their contentions and pass orders within four weeks.

Pursuant to this, the Ministry of Railways said that it examined the representation submitted by IRMCA dated 04.01.21. along with other relevant documents including tender documents, policy instructions etc. "In addition, a meeting with the of IRMCA was also held in Ministry of Railways on 11 february, 2021, to hear their plea regarding the issue including their grievances. In the meeting there was unanimous request that they should be permitted to resume work (same reduced scope of work) on the trains held by them with license fee (as in the case of' static units), or they may be allowed to operate under new the trains scope of work. i.e service of static units." the company further said.

On Monday, IRCTC's scrip rose 12.7 per cent to close at Rs 1,972 on NSE.

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