According to a recent circular issued by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), menus of trains have been revised, and prices of meals will also rise to improve the food’s quality. By Shrimayee Thakur
Food served on trains has become infamous for poor quality, with thousands of passengers filing complaints about how bad the food is. However, IRCTC is all set to change this perception and keep its customers happy with some recently imposed new measures. A recent circular issued by IRCTC states that entire menus for Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto and Mail/Express trains have been revised. Moreover, prices for these meals will rise in order to improve the quality of the food.
Apart from this, there are a few other stringent measures imposed by IRCTC as well. It has issued notices to 47 catering service providers for trains in India, instructing them to raise the standard of their catering service. Out of this, contracts for 24 catering service providers have been discontinued as a penalty for not meeting performance standards, while contracts for 23 are under review, pending evaluation of their services.
On most passenger trains, catering supervisors and assistants working with IRCTC have been deployed to monitor the condition of food services. This also allows for quicker redressal of passengers’ grievances onboard.
IRCTC has also been conducting audits, through third-party auditors, to monitor food quality and hygiene in catering service units in numerous passenger trains, food plazas and base kitchens.
To keep constant vigil over the cooking process of meals, they have even have installed CCTV cameras in all the kitchens. Kitchens can be viewed live through the Rail Drishti website’s dashboard, giving passengers real-time information. This makes the process more transparent and helps passengers trust the food making process in these kitchens.
For passengers opting for onboard catering services, billing through Point of sale (POS) machines has been made mandatory. IRCTC will also be looking into using biodegradable packaging material for the meals served on board.