As per an article in the Financial Times, in July 2017, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, in a report, had said that the food served on trains was “unfit for human consumption.”
The report further observed that “Unpurified water straight from the tap was used in the preparation of beverages; waste bins were found not covered, not emptied regularly, and not washed; foodstuff was left uncovered, and there was no protection from flies, insects and dust; rats and cockroaches were found in trains.”
Reading reports of sub-standard food served onboard trains in India is almost everyday news. To change this, the Indian Railways is now in talks with Nestle to provide passengers with pre-packaged menu instead of the freshly cooked food that is currently being served on trains.
A railway ministry official spoke to the Financial Express and said that “We are starting a pilot with Nestle (to serve ready-to-eat food) and have identified a couple of trains. These are not Rajdhanis or Shatabdis.”
Nestle is believed to have introduced new packs meant only for railways. The official further said that since the volume of food will be high, the prices may be negotiated.
At present, IRCTC-authorised contractors cook food at their facilities.
The Indian Railways is putting in all efforts to proliferate e-catering that can help passengers’ pre-order food from food chains to be delivered at selected stations.
The report further states that the Ministry of Railways is also setting up 70-75 base kitchens across the country, of which 20-25 will become operational within this financial year, as reported by India.com.
As part of its endeavour to offer a wide variety to passengers to choose from and to make available the popular food brands in the market under its newly launched e-catering services, the Indian Railways in 2016 introduced a service which enabled food chains to deliver hot pizzas and burgers to your seat while onboard the train.
With constant upgrades like these, the railways sure are working towards enhancing the passenger experience.
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