Even the most enthusiastic commuters of the Indian Railways can attest that sometimes the food in the trains can be less than ideal.
In a bid to win hearts across the country and also satiate some hungry ones as well, the railways will be announcing a new catering policy that promises to keep in mind, the health and hygiene aspects of the food served.
As Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu sets out to work on a comprehensive plan, here’s what you can expect from this new policy:
Image for representation. Photo source: Wikimedia
1) One big change will be that the cooking and distribution of food will be taken up by two different service providers. Distribution would be undertaken by stakeholders from the hospitality industry.
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2) The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation will be put in charge of on-board catering from here on. While they used to have this position earlier, they were removed from these duties in 2010. Now, the IRCTC will take over in a phased manner.
3) According to the ministry, the cooking will now take place in state-of-the-art kitchens. Base kitchens will be set up in major railway stations additionally.
4) Food stalls at railway stations will no longer be permanent fixtures. There will now be a 5-year tenure that all stalls would have to adhere to.
5) In a bid to ensure that there are equal and fair employment opportunities through this policy, there will be 33% of sub quota allotment for women when it comes to the allotment of food stalls.