Indian railways have finally taken an initiative to upgrade the pantry cars to international standards. Their aim is to improve the food quality served on the trains especially on the long-distance trains. The task has been delegated to IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation), and a circular to this effect has been issued on Tuesday by the Ministry of Railways. According to the circular, IRCTC has proposed to take up the task of upgrading pantry cars and also maintaining them subsequently.
This has been the step in the right direction because until now the maintenance of pantry cars was handled by Indian Railways. According to IRCTC, this created difficulties in maintaining a standard for the food being served. “With the maintenance of pantry cars being handed over to us, we will be able to ensure hygiene standards etc,” an IRCTC official told Financial Express Online.
Revamping in full swing
The upgrade will be seen in almost 350 trains on the Indian Railways network that have pantry cars. IRCTC has proposed that the upgrade will be carried out at an estimated cost of Rs 200 crore to Rs 250 crore over the next three years. “IRCTC shall redesign, upgrade and maintain the interior of all the redesigned and upgraded pantry cars at their own cost from all perspective including fire safety and overall safety. They shall execute an agreement to this effect with Mechanical Coaching Directorate and shall also take approval of the designed electrical load from the coaching directorate,” the circular states. IRCTC has further proposed a new revenue-sharing model of 15:85 between Indian Railways and IRCTC as against the 40:60 mentioned in the catering policy of 2017.