Commuters in Maharashtra facing tough time due to railway caterers' Strike

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Mumbai, Oct 31(ANI): Life of thousands of Railway commuters in Maharashtra has been badly hit due to an indefinite strike of the catering associations at railway stations across the State, which entered its second day on Saturday.

Earlier on Friday, the All India Catering Contractors Association (AICCA) had called for the strike to protest against the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), who have asked the catering contractors to vacate their stalls by October 31 and invited tenders for new contracts.

Commuters who are dependent on the food stalls at the railway stations had to face the brunt of the scuffle between the two, as stalls providing food at subsidised rates were shut down for the second consecutive day.

"I am suffering because I am totally dependent on these food stalls. Now, from where will I get to drink tea and every time I have to travel by train? Here the tea is was available at cheap rates whereas from outside we usually get it for Rs. 8 to 10," said Ravindra Chavan, a commuter.

Some commuters even complained that they had to go outside the station to buy drinking water at high prices, which was proving difficult for them.

"Here even poor people could afford to buy food and cold drink at low rates before travelling. I just went out and brought a bottle of water for myself, whereas I could have brought water from these stalls at subsidised rates," said Vilas Sarmalkar, another commuter.

The AICCA fears that the Government will prefer multinational companies over them for the contracts and they will lose their usiness. (ANI)

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