Indian Railways meals: Get set for a big, pleasant surprise on trains from IRCTC
Indian Railways is toying with the idea to introduce eco-friendly disposable plates in an effort to ensure best standards of hygiene as well as to go green. If things materialise as per plans, passengers trevelling on premium trains will no longer be served meals on the polymer plates.
Indian Railways has embarked on making its services, especially on premium trains, world class, and in that effort it is now toying with the idea to introduce eco-friendly disposable plates on such trains in an effort to ensure best standards of hygiene as well as to go green. If things materialise as per plans, passengers trevelling on premium trains will no longer be served meals on the polymer plates. According to reports, the department recently started the scheme on a trial basis on the Sealdah Rajdhani, where passengers were being served in plates made of 'bagasse', the fibrous remains left behind after extracting sugarcane juice.
Informing about the new move, a senior official told PTI, "This will be biodegradable plates that can be disposed of safely. While on one hand we go green, we are also ensuring that passengers get fresh plates every time. There is no added issue of cleaning and washing the plates or complaints over dirty plates."
The official reportedly stated that Indian Railways will eventually extend the scheme to all trains in which meals are served, adding that containers made of bagasse are firmer and can hold reasonable weight, and, in fact, they are even microwavable.
The cost of this greenware is likely to exceed that of plastic -- Rs 4-to Rs 8 for one plate as compared to Re 1-Rs 5 for plastic, but the officials reportedly said the environmental benefits outweigh the negatives, adding
"We will have the advantage of economies of scale. Also, it will be a great opportunity for the companies to showcase their wares which is still a new product."
It may be noted that after adopting a stern policy of "if no bill, your food is free", Indian Railways may implement the airline catering model on premium trains. Under this system, a mini-meal facility will reportedly be available for passengers, besides ensuring better food quality in every way. Sources close to the development had informed Zee Business, "Railways will be adopting the concept of mini-meals, which is available in airlines. Under the mini-meal concept, packed food will be served to the passengers."
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This new catering service will reportedly be started in those trains where the IRCTC provides meals. In the beginning, the idea would be implemented on the routes where journey is of 5 to 6 hours. Under this facility, travellers would be served with high-quality foods in extreme hygienic conditions as served in air flights.