After Rajdhanis, Durontos, revamped menu with combo meals for Shatabdis; binge on chhola bhatura, rajma chawal

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Published: July 5, 2018 2:55:03 PM

New meals on Shatabdi Express trains: After revamping the menu on several Rajdhani and Duronto Express trains, IRCTC is all set to introduce combo meals on select Shatabdi Express trains. The revamped menu for Shatabdi Express trains has been sent to the Railway Board for approval.

Shatabdi Express menu to be revampedShatabdi Express menu: Once the Railway Board gives its nod combo meals will be served on the selected trains as early as July-end and August-beginning.

New meals on Shatabdi Express trains: After revamping the menu on several Rajdhani and Duronto Express trains, IRCTC is all set to introduce combo meals on select Shatabdi Express trains, learns Financial Express Online. These combo meals will soon be introduced on 5 pairs of Shatabdi Express trains that come under IRCTC catering contract. According to sources that FE Online spoke to, the revamped menu for Shatabdi Express trains has been sent to the Railway Board for approval. Once the Railway Board gives its nod combo meals will be served on the selected trains as early as July-end and August-beginning.

IRCTC, the catering, tourism and ticketing arm of Indian Railways, had commissioned two surveys by external agencies for meal preferences on Indian Railways premium trains. While the first survey was done for Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi Express trains, the second one was only for Shatabdi trains. This is because in the first survey, most passengers showed a preference for full meals. To avoid any skewing of data, IRCTC got another external survey conducted separately for Shatabdi Express trains. Sources told FE Online that the survey results suggest that 50% passengers would prefer combo meals over regular ones.

The new menu for Shatabdi Express trains suggested by IRCTC to the Railway Board includes combo meals such as rajma chawal and chhola bhatura. Apart from these two dishes, IRCTC has also suggested serving combo meals with local cuisines, such as idli sambar for Shatabdi Express trains that run in South India. Notably, the Chennai-Bengaluru-Chennai Shatabdi Express train is among the list of Shatabdi Express trains that will get the new combo meals. The full list of Shatabdi Express trains that will serve combo meals soon is given below:

Train NumberTrain Name
12085Guwahati Dibrugarh Shatabdi Express
12086Dibrugarh Guwahati Shatabdi Express
12087Naharlagun Guwahati Shatabdi Express
12088Guwahati Naharlagun Shatabdi Express
12025PUNE Secunderabad Shatabdi Express
12026Secunderabad PUNE Shatabdi Express
12277Howrah PURI Shatabdi Express
12278PURI Howrah Shatabdi Express
12027Chennai Central Bangalore City Shatabdi
12028Bangalore City Chennai Central Shatabdi

Meanwhile, Financial Express Online was the first to report that from July 15, passengers in 26 Rajdhani and Duronto Express trains will get a taste of IRCTC’s new meals. Under the new menu, IRCTC has reduced the quantity of food, in a bid to focus on quality. While soup will no longer be served, a reduced quantity of dal will be given as part of vegetarian meals. In case of non-vegetarian food, boneless chicken will be served. For longer trips, the second meal will contain vegetable kofta and egg curry instead of paneer and chicken.

In order to address complaints of poor quality food, especially on the back of last year’s CAG report which had rapped Indian Railways, IRCTC is now making use of CCTV cameras and artificial intelligence to keep a track on its various kitchens. The new software detects anomalies in the kitchen such as chefs without uniforms and hats, the presence of rodents and cockroaches. The system then generates a ticket for which the respective kitchen head is responsible. Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways now plans to make this CCTV live streaming of IRCTC kitchens available on the website for the public to view.

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