Good news for Indian Railways passengers! Soon, IRCTC food quality will leave you in awe
Indian Railways is looking to make positive changes in its service and now it transpires, it has another surprise in store for its passengers.
Good news for Indian Railways passengers. The transporter is looking to make positive changes in its service and now it transpires, it has another surprise in store for its passengers. The food that you get on board a train is set to improve further in the coming days. The Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation has been working to improve its food quality. It has also started live streaming of its kitchens in order to win customers' trust and the hygienic conditions that food is prepared in. Now to add to this, the IRCTC has decided to set up Green Field Base Kitchens at as many as 9 locations.
"IRCTC is planning to set up Green Field Base Kitchens at the following locations. A budget target of capital expenditure Rs 15 crores has been set by IRCTC for 2018-19, for setting up new/renovation of existing kitchen/production unit," informed Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.
The minister also informed that IRCTC has opened 8 base kitchens.
In addition to this, the IRCTC has also upgraded 13 Kitchen Units in 2017-18 from where meals are supplied on trains.
To ensure hygienic and quality food in Indian Railways, the ministry has taken various steps. Besides the upgradation of the base kitchens, to ensure compliance of Food Safety Norms, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) certification from Designated Food Safety Officers of each catering unit has been made mandatory.
Some of the steps are listed as under:
* Food Safety Supervisors have been deployed at Kitchen Units to monitor food safety and hygienic practices.
* Examination of quality of food, hygiene and cleanliness in Pantry Cars and Kitchen Units is done through Third Party Audit. The customer satisfaction survey is also conducted through Third Party Agencies.
* Regular and surprise inspections are conducted by railway officials including Food Safety Officers. Detailed instructions/guidelines have been issued to the Zonal Railways for conducting inspections.
* Monitoring and supervision of catering service is done through operation of centralized Catering Service Monitoring Cell (CSMC) toll free number 1800-111-321, Operation of All India Helpline No. 138, Twitter handle, CPGRAMS, E-Mail and SMS based complaints redressal.
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* With the objective to provide quality and hygienic food to passengers, a new Catering Policy 2017 has been notified wherein unbundling of catering services on trains by IRCTC has been envisaged. In compliance thereof IRCTC has already taken over management of 377 mobile units (pairs of trains with pantry Cars) and 262 static units/Kitchen Units.
* IRCTC has already upgraded 30 Base Kitchens/ Kitchen Units. IRCTC is closely monitoring the quality of food preparation through various modalities, e.g. CCTV, Food safety supervisors, IRCTC supervisor, food sampling in NABL accredited labs, Third Party Audit.