The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is all set to introduce several changes in its meals from July 15. Passengers of 11 Rajdhani and 14 Duronto Express trains will get to enjoy the revamped rationalised meals from IRCTC. Besides, the Railways has also decided to initiate major reforms in its catering services.
The steps are a part of several reform measures undertaken by the Railways in its bid to address passenger grievances and improve quality of food served in trains. From use of Artificial Intelligence to ‘Menu on Rails’ app, to live video streaming of railway kitchens to revamped meals and vending machines, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal has brought about a host of changes to suit customer tastes.
The public transporter has come under repeated criticisms over the quality of food served in premium trains like the Shatabdi, Rajdhani and Duronto. Last year, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its report had termed the food served at stations and in trains “unfit for human consumption”. The Railways has said from now on that there would be an added emphasis in progressive introduction of prepacked items.
From July 15, passengers travelling in the selected Rajdhani and Duronto trains will get an additional chocolate bar in breakfast and will be served dry vegetable along with lunch and dinner. Moreover, passengers opting for non-vegetarian food will be served boneless chicken instead of the usual chicken with bone.
Apart from this, IRCTC is also introducing a host of service-related changes from July 15. Serving meals using trolleys and bio-degradable food trays with air-tight sealing are some of the new facilities passengers will witness in Rajdhani and Duronto trains.
The Railways has been testing biodegradable bagasse bowls on several Shatabdi Express trains in its bid to minimize non-biodegradable waste like plastic and aluminium. Usage of bio-degradable trays will be extended to other express trains as well and the Railways has set a deadline of three months to complete the task.
From July 15, passengers will also be given hand sanitizers while e-carts will be used for the transshipment of food from the kitchen to the train. Moreover, IRCTC has said that bearers would be given new uniforms in phases and there would be an added impetus on their qualification and behaviour with passengers.