In its ongoing effort to ensure quality food reaches passengers travelling on trains, the Indian Railways has equipped 16 of its base kitchens with high definition CCTVs to track anomalies, in real-time, during the cooking and packaging of meals. The camera feed is routed to an Artificial Intelligence module set up at IRCTC’s headquarters in New Delhi.
A member of the Railways Board visited IRCTC’s first surveillance-oriented intelligence kitchen control room in New Delhi on Tuesday morning. M Jamshed, member (traffic), was given a tour of the central control, from where authorities can monitor kitchens.
The move comes following a Comptroller and Auditor General audit report last July, which termed food served in railways “unsuitable” for human consumption.
What is a surveillance-oriented intelligent kitchen?
The Indian Railways has co-developed an Artificial Intelligence-enabled system to ensure meals are prepared in hygienic conditions. High definition CCTV cameras have been installed to monitor — in real time — the preparation of food and ensure chefs are adhering to hygienic requirements at these kitchens. There are eight cameras in each kitchen.
The AI technology will help detect rodent activities and deficiencies pertaining to hygiene. It is configured to ensure particular standards of hygiene are met. For instance, if the system it detects a rodent or cockroach in one of the kitchens, it will automatically raise a red flag.
What happens after the AI flags a problem?
The anomalies detected by the AI technology will be tracked at the central control room on a regular basis. The performance of base kitchens will be reviewed over a period of time and a report will be sent to them.
Where is the central control room?
A central control room, which oversees preparations at the kitchens, is located in New Delhi. From here, authorities will monitor activities and access data from the IA. The system also allows for announcements to be made from the central control to the base kitchens.
“To begin with, 16 base kitchens of IRCTC have been installed with high definition cameras connected to huge monitors for AI vision detection. Live streaming of 16 base kitchens will be done. Suppose a chef or any kitchen supervisor is not wearing uniform, including the mandatory cap, the AI system will track that and automatically raise a report to the concerned contractor immediately. If the matter is not addressed within a certain time, it will further be reported to IRCTC authorities in charge,” an IRCTC official told The Indian Express.
The project currently includes 16 base kitchens located across the country. Gradually, the Railways will expand the programme to include more kitchens. The technology has been developed in association with WOBOT, a New Delhi-based company.