New Delhi: In a bid to serve quality food to its passengers, Indian Railways has taken a decision to cut down on quantity and focus more on quality. There have been several instances where passengers have complained to railway authorities regarding bad food quality and the authorities plan to act quickly to reduce such instances. The new ‘quality meals’ will be first available on premium trains such as Rajdhani and Shatabdi, reports The Economic Times.
It may be noted that the meals served on trains will be lighter by 150 gram, indicating that some of the items which are served presently will go off the menu. However, the catering arm of the railways Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), has now chalked out a proposal to remove items such as the traditional soup, breadsticks, butter and sandwiches of the menu. Besides, instead of full means, passengers are now likely to get vegetarian and non-vegetarian rice/roti combos.
The proposal has been floated after a panel of catering experts informed the IRCTC that meal trays are too large and hold more quantity of food than the standard Indian diet of 750 grams. It may be noted that IRCTC, over the years, has been making losses pertaining to its onboard catering service, attracting on Rs 112 per passenger meal in comparison to the actual cost at Rs 150 per plate.
Speaking to the publication, a senior rail ministry official admitted that there are several problems that have hindered maintaining the quality of food. The official suggested that reducing the quantity will improve quality of food served on trains.
The complaints about bad food on trains have been going on for years and a 2017 CAG report indicated that the food served on trains do not meet “desired standards”. It may be noted that the IRCTC also proposed to cut down the quality of dal to 100 grams in addition to a new boneless chicken gravy and dry vegetables.
An official told ET that the proposal has already been sent to the railway board by the IRCTC, and the new services will be first introduced in 27 Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains after approval. The railways is now focusing to transform traditional issues. From stations to in-train facilities and hygiene – the authorities are now working towards making the Indian Railways attractive again.