Faced with increased complaints from passengers about the quality of food served on-board trains, Railways have decided that catering services on its flagship trains will be handled directly by IRCTC or by itself.
Even as the revised catering policy is due for release shortly, it has decided that catering services in all Duronto non-stop trains will be managed by the IRCTC directly and not through contractors.
The objective is to ensure that quality of catering service is there at all costs, said a source in the Railways.
While complaints have forced Railways to sit back and take measures to plug loopholes in its catering policy, the source said punitive action has been taken against errant contractors after receipt of complaints.
He said that pending review of the catering policy, Railways have also decided to directly supervise on-board catering services in few premium trains like some Rajdhani and Duronto trains on an experimental basis.
A beginning has already been made in this regard with Railways taking up the supervision part in two trains leaving Howrah.
The catering policy will be more stringent on awarding contracts to private parties, ensuring that the contract is limited to a few trains only per party, he said.
He said that taking remedial action against errant contractors, IRCTC has warned 307 of them, fined 300 and counselled 26 contractors.
The source said Railways are already conducting special drives on premium trains and base kitchen and have engaged reputed agencies to conduct full audit of the catering service.
Customer satisfaction surveys and web enabled complaint management systems have also to be pressed into service, he said.