Railways has set October 31 as deadline for vendors to improve the quality of milk for tea to be served in Trains and at Railway Stations

KOCHI: Passengers will no longer have to suffer the tea – in fact, its travesty – served on trains and at railway stations. With complaints of poor quality of its beverages on the rise, the railways have set October 31 as the deadline for vendors to ensure that they use milk instead of milk powder, the right proportion of sugar, tea leaves and water and, not least, serve it in hygienic styrofoam or paper cups.

As part of ‘Tea Drive’, railways has issued notices to tea and coffee vendors at Thiruvananthapuram Central railway station asking them to improve quality. Thiruvananthapuram railway division assistant commercial manager Arun Thomas said, “This is a pilot project and will be extended from Thiruvananthapuram to Vallathol Nagar in Thrissur district.”

The railways will examine the possibility of extending this drive to other divisions and also include food items served on trains and at stations. The licences of all vendors who fail to fall in line will be terminated, railways said. Offenders will also be imposed a fine ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 20,000.

Passengers will have an option to lodge a complaint with the station manager or guards, tweet on #tvcdrive or mail on pgcell@tvc.railnet.gov.in. Once the railway receives a complaint from a consumer, the authorities would first check the quality of the tea or coffee. The samples would be tested and action will be based on how bad the tea is.

“We will focus both on quantity and quality. During recent raids, it has been found that most of the vendors served only 130 ml instead of 150 ml as directed by railways. In case of quality, many vendors used milk powder instead of good quality milk. The coffee or tea powder used was sub-standard. Also, even paper cups used to serve the hot drinks are of poor quality,” said the officer.

Source: Times of India