Over the past few months, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has launched several initiatives to improve the catering services available in trains across several lines in the country. IRCTC has also partnered with several food delivery platforms to offer its passengers several options for food and beverage. One of the top complaints from passengers traveling in trains is the lack of hygienic and high-quality food available. IRCTC has started the process in rectifying these problems and in collaboration with Defence Research Development Organisation’s food laboratory in Mysore, it has launched ready-to-eat meals.
The new ready-to-eat meals, which were developed by the Defence Food Research laboratory, will have a shelf-life of 6 months and will be available to people travelling on the Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains. This service will be launched by IRCTC in July offering the passengers a different option for food services. The range of products available through this service will initially include Girnar Tea costing Rs. 15 and several varieties of rice dishes – rajma-rice, dal-rice, biryani and zeera rice – all of which will cost an extremely nominal price of Rs. 40-45.
Improving Catering Services
Based on the recommendation from railway minister Suresh Prabhu, IRCTC has been steadily increasing the quality of food available for passengers traveling in trains. IRCTC chairman and managing director A.K. Manocha noted that these initiatives is part of an all encompassing method to improve the catering services in all IRCTC trains. The Railways has also collaborated with the Institute of Hotel Management, Catering and Nutrition to overhaul the kitchen and catering services available in all Indian trains.
IRCTC has also partnered with several food delivery startups such as Travelkhana and ZoopIndia to offer its passengers varied food options while traveling. Earlier in the year, the Railways, in partnership with Chaayos, has started offering 25 different varieties of teas. These initiatives has given passengers several options to pick and choose from based on their tastes and convenience.