Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday called for improvement in the quality of eatables served on trains and instructed the officials to make 'janta khana' (subsidised food) available at all stations for the poor.
"The quality of food served on trains has deteriorated. It should be improved," the minister said on the occasion of launching a train, Kandari Express, between Howrah and Digha, a popular sea resort in West Bengal.
Cleanliness was another matter which attracted Mamata's attention. It has deteriorated too and should be restored, she said adding people were not getting tickets through the 'tatkal' service.
"This should be also looked into," Mamata said.
The minister was also critical of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), saying that the poor passengers could not afford the price of food being charged by it.
"I have seen the prices quoted by IRCTC for food to be served in the Kandari Express. I don't agree with them. They have done it without informing us. The people cannot afford this price. We will look into it," she remarked.
In the presence of general managers of Eastern, South Eastern and Metro railway, she said "janta khana" should be made available at all stations for the poor.
Similarly, the railway infrastructure, passenger amenities, safety and security must be improved, she said.