With a view to giving passengers a wider range of options for their meals on trains, the Railways has introduced “ready-to-eat” food items for them.
While an e-catering service has been introduced on select trains and stations, passengers now also have the option of ordering pre-cooked food.
Guidelines on “ready-to-eat meals” have been issued to all zones. Mail/Express trains that have pantry cars have been asked to serve pre-cooked food as an ‘add-on’ option under the a-la-carte category, a senior official was quoted by PTI as saying.
While steps have been taken to ensure that good quality and hygienic food is served to the passengers, there are provisions for imposition of penalties in case of deficiencies in service, he said.
North Western Railway, the nodal railway nominated to select reputed ready-to-eat companies, has empanelled four firms — Gitwako Farms, BTW India, Gits Food Products and Aryan Food Products to provide the pre-cooked meals.
The e-catering service is at present available on 1,350 trains that do not have pantry cars and at 45 stations across the country.
Buoyed by this move, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is likely to introduce a centralized catering monitoring cell (CCMC) at New Delhi to maintain food quality served on running trains.
Railways has introduced a toll free number, 1800111321, to get feedback or register complaint in case of passengers’ grievances.
Besides this, an interactive voice recording system has been introduced on select trains to record passengers’ opinion about the quality of food served to them on running trains.