A discount offer in Tejas Express had put a Marathi TV artiste and chef Parag Kanhere in tizzy where he was told that if he didn’t ask for a bill for the food he offered, he will get Rs 44 off besides complimentary tea/coffee.
According to Mumbai Mirror, the incident took place on January 16 while he was traveling from Karmali to Panvel on the Tejas Express. At first, he couldn’t believe it, so he called the pantry staff again, who confirmed that meals can be bought “cheaper” aboard the train if the passengers didn’t ask for bills. During the entire conversation, the waiters had no idea that Parag Kanhere was video-recording the conversation.
Kanhere told the leading daily, “I had asked for a chicken meal and the coach attendant told me to pay Rs 294. I give him a note of Rs 500 and asked him for a receipt /bill. After a pause, he told me bluntly, ‘Sir, if you don’t opt for the bill, we will charge only Rs 250 per meal and tea/coffee will be complimentary. I was shocked.”
Kanhere has lodged a complaint with the railways and the IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) has promised action. The two waiters are yet to be identified but this incident raises questions as to whether the catering staff on Tejas Express are pocketing the money.