Soon, enjoy food from reputed foodchains in premium trains

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Caters at railways
Gone are the days when the passengers had to restrict on simple and stale food while travelling in railways. Soon, the passengers will get to eat mouth-watering dishes like ‘Chicken Chettinad', ‘Hyderabadi Biryani', ‘Sambar Rice' and ‘Rajma Chawal' in the trains. Days after the Cabinet approved 100 per cent FDI in the railway infrastructure segment, the Indian railways is mulling to introduce a new catering policy in some premium trains. This means that the passengers could have regional cuisines like chicken chettinad, dhokla or chila etc on the premium trains.

As per the plan, menu will be split region wise into Northern, Eastern, Western and Southern in Rajadhani, Shatabdi and Duranto. Alongwith this, pre-packed ready to eat meals and welcome drinks will also ben introduced. According to reports, sale of tea, coffee, soft drinks, and snacks will not be allowed inside the trains.

Report say that this action have been taken after repeated complaints of bad quality of food being served in trains. A circular has been issued to that effect.

The new policy of the Indian Railways' will lay special emphasis on cleanliness in pantry cars. In order to improve the services, the railways has decided to take services of food chain Haldirams. At initial stage, Haldirams will supply vegetarian food in Karnataka Express and Paschim Express.

Along with this, Godrej, Vadilal and Tysen Food have also expressed interest in catering for the Railways and the Government is mulling to allow them to cater in other trains.

Substandard food being served on premium trains

Plagued by a number of complaints regarding poor quality of food, the Railways recently fined nine caterers, including the IRCTC.

Few days back, inspection team found substandard and stale food kept in unhygienic conditions being served to the passengers. The Railways authorities had slapped fines ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh on the contractors.

5849 complaints in last 3 years against catering service in premier trains

Admitting that substandard food is being served in trains, Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha told Parliament that over 5800 complaints were received against catering service in premier trains in the last three years.

He said action has been taken against concerned caterers. While licences of three vendors have been terminated, penalty has been imposed in 1884 cases. He said Railways have taken steps to improve catering service on trains and a catering services monitoring cell with a toll free number 1800111321 has been set up for redressal of complaints.

Pathetic condition of catering services in Indian Railways

A cockroach was found in the food served in the Kolkata Rajdhani.

In May, 2014, AC-II tier passengers of a Yesvantpur-Howrah Premium Special train fell ill after being allegedly served stale food. According to reports, at least 15 passengers lodged a complaint with the IRCTC after reaching Howrah.

In May 2013, a dead cockroach was found in vegetable biryani in Mumbai Superfast Express.

Recently, Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda had promised to take appropriate steps to address the situation. In fact, during the Rail Budget he announced to make course correction in catering service to address the problem.

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