The Ministry of Railways has instructed the Indian Railways Catering and Toursim Corporation Ltd (IRCTC) to terminate all existing mobile catering contracts, which include providing cooked food to passengers prepared from base kitchens.
Company told "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 comment comes as members of the Indian Railways' Mobile Caterers Association (ICRMCA) file a petition in the Madras High Court on January 19, 2021, raising the question of mobile catering. The Madras High Court had ordered the Indian Railways to consider IRMCA's request to resume service, which had been suspended after the lock-down was declared in March 2020. The court ordered that the authorities should give members of the association enough opportunity to present their claims and issue orders within four weeks.
Accordingly, the Ministry of Railways reported that it had reviewed IRMCA's representation dated 04.01.21, as well as other related documents such as tender documents, policy orders, and so on. "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".
On Monday, IRCTC's scrip rose 12.7 per cent to close at Rs 1,972 on National Stock Exchange (NSE).