IRCTC train meals set for a big change! Faced with complaints of quality of meals on trains, IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) is proposing to reduce the quantity of food it serves to passengers. The move is IRCTC's way of focusing on quality rather than quantity.
IRCTC train meals set for a big change! Faced with complaints of quality of meals on trains, IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) is proposing to reduce the quantity of food it serves to passengers. According to railway officials that Financial Express Online spoke to, the move is IRCTC’s way of focusing on quality rather than quantity. What that means for passengers is that combo meals are being considered, instead of full course extensive preparations. Sample this – the quantity of dal may be reduced to around 100-120 grams grams from 150 grams served earlier. Boneless chicken gravy may be provided for non-vegetarian means instead of chicken pieces. Additionally, dry vegetables will also be served. The idea is to reduce the meal quantity to around 700 grams, as against the 900 grams that IRCTC currently provides. This has been done keeping in mind the fact that the average Indian diet for a meal is 750 grams.
A proposal for the same has been drawn up by IRCTC and sent to the Railway Board. IRCTC’s logic is that because of rising raw material cost, providing quality food at the relatively low rates of Indian Railways is becoming a challenging task. IRCTC has also proposed to do away with serving soup and breadsticks – a move that may not go down too well with railway passengers. Aircraft-like combo meals are also being considered for short distance journeys – such as those in Shatabdis.
Meanwhile, to mark World Environment Day, IRCTC has started serving meals in bio-degradable containers in certain Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express trains today. Recently, IRCTC decided to make use of artificial intelligence to keep a real-time track of its kitchens and to ensure quality. IRCTC’s latest software, WOBOT, involves setting up high definition cameras in the kitchens. These cameras are in turn connected to monitors in a centralised control room. When the system detects an anomaly (presence of insects, cockroaches etc), a ticket is raised and the concerned managers have to take the necessary action.
Given the complaints from passengers and the report by CAG which called food on trains “unfit for human consumption”, Indian Railways and IRCTC’s latest steps are welcome, though their implementation are key to the success. Additionally, reduced quantity of food may not be met with cheers by passengers – something that Indian Railways should keep in mind and hence monitor feedback.