Indian Railways has decided to do away with one of two pantry cars and replace them with AC-3 coach in eight Rajdhani trains to increase the availability of berths for passengers.
All eight Rajdhani trains including Mumbai, Howrah, Dibrugarh, Patna, Sealdah will have now only one pantry car instead of two. The pantry cars will be replaced with one AC-3 coach in these Rajdhani trains, said a senior Railway Ministry official.
There are total 17 Rajdhani trains out of which nine have one pantry car each and rest have two pantry cars. Rajdhani for Bhubaneswar, Trivandrum, Jammu, Chennai among others have only one pantry car.
The process of replacing pantry cars with AC-3 coaches is underway and it will be completed by March 31 so that all these Rajdhani trains will have about 600 additional berths from April 1.
He said there is no need for the second pantry car as the food is supplied from outside.
Besides, railways is also introducing the option for Rajdhani passengers to choose the e-catering facility or the onboard arrangement on trains.
Since the catering charge is included in the tickets in Rajdhani, the software is being changed to give passengers option of choosing it, the official said.
Besides railways is also in the process of changing the catering policy in a significant way to do away with train-based tendering system.
As per the proposal, railways will introduce the two-pronged system of tendering for production and distribution of food at rail premises.
“Tendering methodology for catering is being changed and now two separate tendering process will take place as per the new arrangement,” said the official adding “IRCTC will be given major responsibility in the new system.
There will be about 250 base kitchens at all major stations across the country to prepare about six lakh meals and snacks per day.