Now, Indian Railways to emulate airline model to serve better food to travellers
According to senior railway officials, this catering services will be started in those trains whose catering facilities are under the control of IRCTC, like Satabadi Express. Initially, the concept will be adopted on those routes where journey is of 5 to 6 hours. The services will be rolled out in the next 2-3 months. Under this catering facility, travellers will be served with high-quality foods in extreme hygienic conditions, as it is served in air flights.
After adopting a stern policy of "if no bill, your food is free", Indian Railways is now planning to implement the airline catering model in its system, wherein, a mini-meal facility will be available for passengers. Not just that, the model will be adopted in a way to ensure provision of better food quality to the travellers in every way. Sources close to the development 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." According to senior Indian Railways officials, this catering service will be started in those trains whose catering facilities are under the control of IRCTC, like Shatabdi Express. Initially, the concept will be adopted on those routes where journey is of 5 to 6 hours. The services will be rolled out in the next 2-3 months. Under this catering facility, travellers will be served with high-quality foods in extreme hygienic conditions, as it is served in flights.
To implement the concept of mini-meal in the trains, the Railway Board held its meeting with leading and famous caterers and companies associated with the food business, including TFS, Haldiram, ITC, MTR among others. To support its plan, the Indian Railways has earlier made it optional by separating the catering money from the tickets. Under the existing service, you can choose the catering facility option at the time of booking the ticket to avail this facility during your journey.
According to the sources, two basic or standard rates will be fixed for the mini-meal. For instance, the veg mini-meal will cost around Rs 70-80, while the non-veg mini-meal will be priced at around Rs 140-150. Apart from this, if you buy something else during the journey, like cold drinks, you have to pay for it separately.
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With this decision, Indian Railways is trying to ensure that the passengers are served with better, tasty and clean food while travelling. It also wants to reduce the complaints related to its catering services.
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Although the concept of mini-meals appears to be simple, its implementation is likely to be difficult. The companies affiliated with catering food business have asked the Indian Railways to clarify its stand on compensation. In addition, the companies have also asked for autonomy and independence in catering services.
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