Serving fast food on Rajdhani, Shatabdi | ‘When on wheels, better to have a home-made snack’punjab Updated: Jul 08, 2017 18:49 IST
The Indian Railways has tied up with food chains such as Domino’s, KFC, McDonald’s and Sagar Ratna, among others.(HT File Photo)
A day after the option of ordering food from private food joints like KFC and McDonald’s was made available to passengers travelling on board Shatabdi and Rajdhani trains, nutritionists feel that carrying home-made food while travelling is the best and that the initiative by railways may encourage consumption of unhealthy fast food.
“Prefer carrying home-cooked food like kathi rolls, sandwiches or any other snacks which has more shelf life while travelling in trains or any means of transport,” suggests Ritu Sudhakar, chief dietician from Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), Ludhiana.
Sudhakar said that pizza and burgers come under the category of junk food and one must avoid them for they contain large amount of carbohydrates and fats. “However, one can have a bite of these once in a while, but not on a regular basis,” she said.
Sudhakar said, “Since there are many other options available, one must go for something healthier.”
“I have travelled many times in the Shatabdi, but the food served in the train is neither fresh nor hygienic,” Sudhakar added. “Home-cooked meals are better than preserved foods that contain rich amount of sodium.”
What passengers think
HT team also interacted with some passengers at the station, who appreciated the effort of railways.
Varun Arora (34), who was waiting at the platform for a train to Jammu, said, “Apart from the junk food brands, there are many other choices of local restaurants. So, it is up to the public as to what they want to eat. At least with this facility, we can avoid the unhygienic food that is served in the trains.”
Harish Sharma (31), a daily passenger, said he cannot carry home-cooked food and never liked the food served in the Shatabdi either. “Therefore, the facility of booking meals and that of our choice is a very good initiative.”
Social media abuzz too
People on social media had a mix response to the move. While many are excited and have liked the facility, some have said the move will encourage unhealthy eating habits.
Sudha Dudley Madeira commented on Facebook, “A commendable initiative. And eating junk food is a personal choice...nobody is forcing it down your throat. You can always opt for dosas!”
Munish commented on Twitter, “No, don’t order those. They are harmful fast foods rich in saturated fats which will make our kids and us obese and ill in the long run.”
‘Over 5,000 meals order daily through e-catering’
The public relations officer from Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) informed that on an average, 5,000 to 6,000 meals are booked daily through e-catering service across the country. He added that the facility of ordering food through private food joints is also available in other trains. “This facility was started on a trial basis at a single station a year ago. Later it was extended to 45 other stations and at present, it is available at 275 stations of out of the 408 stations in the country.”