BASE KITCHENS at Mumbai Central and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) may soon follow the mechanised system of making food, similar to the Central Kitchen in Noida. Here, machines will prepare the three-course meal to be served on trains. While the entire process remains free of human touch, a quality check is done at the end.
According to senior officials from Indian Rail Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), the base kitchen at Mumbai Central will be handed over to them by June 13. After a week of maintenance, work on upgrading the kitchen space would begin. By the end of 2017, IRCTC plans to cover at least 20 trains through this policy. The phase 2, planned next year, will see food supply through these base kitchens from Mumbai to the southern-bound trains of the country.
“Under the new catering policy, IRCTC will take over the base kitchens in the country to upgrade the quality of food preparation. In Mumbai, we are taking up the kitchen at Mumbai Central by June 13. This will involve bringing certain changes to the preparatory methods of food. By next month, we aim to take up the CST kitchen,” said IRCTC public relations officer Pinakin Morawalla. The new policy will require IRCTC to manage catering service at all mobile units and pantry car services. After this, phase-wise modernisation of the equipment used to prepare the food would be taken up.
“The benefit of a mechanised kitchen is knowing that only good quality food is be served to the passengers. We aim to take over the base kitchen at Mumbai Central and CST by this year, along with ten others, including the ones in Solapur and Nagpur divisions on the Central Railway,” a senior IRCTC official said. The modernised kitchen at Mumbai Central will cater to supplying food to Mumbai-Delhi August Kranti Rajdhani Express.
“While the base kitchen in Noida takes care of the food supply from Delhi for the August Kranti, we will be relieving their work from Mumbai. We slowly plan to ensure that trains running on stations between Mumbai and Delhi get covered under the new catering policy,” the official added. The one at CST will handle the catering contracts for Tejas Express and Duronto Express, said the officials. “As IRCTC will retain ownership of the kitchen, we would ensure only the right catering players in the markets get the required opportunities of food production. Issues like overpricing of food by certain contractors could also be evaded,” the official added