Boneless chicken, dry veggies: Railways to cut down on quantity, focus on quality meals
In terms of quantity, IRCTC has decided to cut down the quantity of dal from 150gm to 120gm, will serve boneless chicken, discontinue soup, and will add a serving of dry vegetable.Updated: Jun 05, 2018 14:58 IST
Quality, not quantity, that’s going to be the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation’s (IRCTC) approach when it comes to railway meals.
It has decided to cut down on the quantity of food provided to passengers in Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains based on one of the recommendations of a committee set up to rationalise the menu that each one-person meal should be 700gm, instead of the 900gm currently provided by Indian Railways. According to an IRCTC officer, the plan is to improve quality by reducing the quantity. That may also help the corporation from the financial perspective, an IRCTC officer said on condition of anonymity.
“The price for a meal is stagnant and has not been increased for years, although the price of items we serve has increased drastically. When we approached the Railway Board for a price increase, they allowed us to rationalise the menu instead of increasing the price. We are now taking a host of measure to improve quality of service and food item in trains,” added this person.
In terms of quantity, IRCTC has informed the Railway board that it has decided to cut down the quantity of dal from 150gm to 120gm, will serve boneless chicken, discontinue soup, and will add a serving of dry vegetable. For those taking a long journey, the second meal will be lighter, typically a one-bowl meal, instead of a full one.
The rationalised menu will first be introduced in 27 trains, where IRCTC directly provides the catering service.
As part of its efforts to improve the service, Indian Railways is improving quality of packaging and also of wait-staff. “We have changed the packing of plate and instead of plastic tray, the food will now be served in disposable plates, which are biodegradable,” the officer added. “We are also improving the quality of the catering staff.”
“Earlier, there were no criteria but now the waiter is required to have a diploma from National Skill Development Corporation or any other similar body. We will also provide in-house diploma under ‘Hunar se Rozgar” scheme. The uniform of waiters will be the same across all trains,” said a second IRCTC officer familiar who asked not to be identified. Also in the plans are trolleys to wheel the meals around, and providing a sanitiser to passengers.
Railways is conducting a trial run of the new meal in the Nizamuddin-Mumbai Rajdhani and biodegradable plates will be introduced in four Rajdhani and four Shatabdi trains on Tuesday.