The Railways is not taking any chances with quality control measures.
The Indian Railways has always endeavoured to provide a smooth and comfortable travel experience to its passengers. In a move to increase the safety of train operations and reduce the chances of the signal failing, the Indian Railways had tried to implement Artificial Intelligence (AI) in November 2017. You can read more about that here.
On a related note, the IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) has also been taking steps to improve its catering services, including bringing down the prices of various food items, which you can learn about here.
IAS Coaching Centre Fined Rs 5 Lakh for Misleading Ads With Toppers: Red Flags You Should Check For
Searching for the best UPSC coaching institute? The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has just imposed a fine of Rs 5 Lakh on Khan Study Group (KSG) for misleading ads with IAS toppers.Read more >
However, the complaints about the quality of the food have not ceased, and in a bid to salvage its reputation, which has taken a serious hit, the Railways is looking to implement AI-based technology and CCTV cameras to catch irregularities.
According to the Financial Express, Ashwani Lohani, the Chairman of the Railway Board, has promised that “high quality and tasty food” will be served, beginning July, in premium trains like the Rajdhani, the Shatabdi and the Duronto on a trial basis and in all other trains thereafter.
He compared the proposed meal, comprising of 2 or 3 items, to the meals served in airlines.
As a part of this latest initiative, 68 new base kitchens will come up across India, and be ready by December 2019. All the kitchens will have CCTV monitoring, and an AI module will be installed in them.
The AI system, known as Obots, is on-point and can track any pest in any of the base kitchens. A report of a foreign object found (if any), will immediately reach various stakeholders, including the IRCTC Managing Director.
The system will also detect anomalies in the catering operation, including minute details like instances of team members not wearing their uniforms. The system will then send a report to the contractor, who will be given a 15-minute timeline to address the same, failing which a report will be sent to the IRCTC MD, according to a senior Railway official in The Pioneer.
As for the kitchens, the Chairman mentioned they would have state-of-the-art kitchenware, and a separate provision for vegetarian and non-vegetarian cooking spaces will be made. The pantries will be well-maintained, and new coaches, which have separate washing and storage facilities, will be put to use. Additionally, managers and supervisors will carry out random checks to ensure that everything is running smoothly.
Howrah, Kanpur, Bilaspur, and Raipur, are some of the cities where the kitchens will be set up, and according to IRCTC Chairman and Managing Director MP Mall, the process will cost over Rs 1 crore per kitchen. The IRCTC wants to stabilise the catering system, and prevent it from being shuffled around.
Last year, in its report presented in the parliament, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) had severely criticised the Indian Railways and had even gone on record to say that the national transporter was serving food which was unfit for human consumption. The report stated that there were serious issues in the hygiene standards of the food being served, and also mentioned that unpurified water was being used to prepare beverages.
The Better India Among Top 4 Finalists for Prestigious Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award, 2023
The Better India has been selected as one of the four finalists of the prestigious ‘Social Entrepreneur of the Year’ India Award for 2023, launched by Swiss non-profit Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, in partnership with Jubilant Bhartia Foundation.Read more >
The Railways has started implementing steps to improve service quality. This latest foray of implementing AI in catering might help the national transporter plug the hygiene loopholes mentioned above.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)
Like this story? Or have something to share? Write to us: firstname.lastname@example.org, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
NEW: Click here to get positive news on WhatsApp!
Tell Us More
Want to Play a Role in Shaping India’s Climate Laws & Policies? Here’s a One-Stop Guide
Civis, a platform that enables citizens to participate in public consultations in the domain of environment and policy has released Climate Voices. This is a handbook and guide for Indians to participate in environmental law-making and play an active role in shaping our climate policies.Read more >