Train passengers will now have a choice of a la carte meals from known brands like Haldirams, McDonalds and Nirulas.
The Indian Railways on Friday issued policy guidelines permitting 'Ready to Eat' meals from branded firms as an add-on option in all mail and express trains that provide for pantry car service.
Ready to Eat meals will include pre-cooked and frozen food packaged to provide for shelf life of not less than three months.
No additional license fee is proposed to be charged from these firms since the license fee has already been fixed and realised from contractors operating the pantry cars, a ministry circular says. The North Western Railway zone has been authorised to short-list reputed firms. "Expression of Interest bids will shortly be floated", an official said.
In order to participate, firms must have an annual turnover of over Rs 50 lakh for each of the last three years and must comply with international technical standards besides possessing minimum three years experience in the packaged food industry.