IRCTC's water supply not enough, vendors feel the heat

IRCTC's water supply not enough, vendors feel the heat

Scarcity of packaged water adds to miseries of sellers at rly stations

Scarcity of packaged water has added to the miseries of the vendors at railway stations.

As the mercury soars, the vendors complain that the IRCTC – the manufacturers of packaged water Rail Neer – is not supplying enough bottles according to demand. 

The vendors claim that as a result of inadequate supply, neither are they able to meet the demand of water nor can they sell bottles of other companies as the IRCTC is not giving them a written submission about the short supply of bottles. The vendors are at the recieving end of passengers and railway officials due to inadequate number of water bottles. 

“On several occasions, the passengers ask for the complaint book if water is not available. On other hand if vendors try to sell other permissible brands of bottle, the railway officials harass them,” said Ravinder Gupta, president, vendors’ union. Gupta owns a fruit juice stall at New Delhi railway station. 

The rules allow vendors to sale packaged drinking water of other brands apart from Rail Neer if their is inadequate supply. However, the permission is given by a rider, which the vendors claim is the bone of contention. 

To sell other brands, the vendors need to have a written clearance from the India Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).

However, the IRCTC officials claim there is no shortage of supply at any of the stations in the Capital. “Since we are meeting the water demand at all the stations, a written submission over supply of water is out of question,” said Pradip Kundu, joint general manager (PR), IRCTC.  

Vendors also allege that this bye-law is only being applied by the railway authorities in their case. 

“The caterers running the pantry service on board trains are being allowed to sell other brands. They too do not have any written permission, but hundreds of cartons of packaged water of other brands are being uploaded on almost all the trains operating from these stations barring Rajdhani and Shatabdi, ” said a vendor at the New Delhi station. 

Vendors’ union leaders said they have written to the divisional railway manager, requesting him to either ensure adequate supply of bottles or permit them to sell bottles of other brands. We are awaiting his response, Gupta said.

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