Indian Railways get new catering policy. Here's all you need to know

This new catering policy further empowers the IRCTC to fix menu and tariff in consultation with the Railway Board.

After receiving numerous complaints against food quality, the Indian Railways ministry has rolled out new catering policy which envisages fulfilling aspirations of public regarding healthy and hygienic food. This new catering policy will replace the seven-year-old one, giving the railways an onboard catering responsibility for a majority of trains including Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Humsafar express.

This new catering policy further empowers the IRCTC to fix menu and tariff in consultation with Railway Board. This announcement was made by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu while flagging off two new trains—the Humsafar Express and the Antyodaya Express.

Here are the key features:

  1. The responsibility of onboard catering goes back to the IRCTC, a railways PSU, for the majority of trains including all the new ones. The Railways PSU was relieved from the responsibility by the then railway minister, Mamata Banerjee in 2010.
  2. With this, IRCTC would begin to manage catering service in a phased manner. IRCTC would unbundle catering service by creating distribution primarily between food preparation and its distribution.
  3. The new policy also empowers the IRCTC to fix menu and tariff in consultation with the Railways.
  4. In order to achieve social objective, the policy allows 33 per cent sub-quota for women in allotment of stalls at all stations.
  5. Besides, self-help groups will also be empaneled in catering services to promote employment opportunities in various regions.

Monday’s event also witnessed the launch of two new trains. The Humsafar Express will run to and fro from Sriganganagar to Tiruchchirappalli. The other one is the Antyodaya Express, which will run to and fro from Ernakulam to Howrah.

The Humsafar train will have GPS-based information system. This will also be equipped with coffee/tea/soup vending machine, hot and refrigerated pantry. The Humsafar have the improved and hygienic toilets.

Besides all of this, the Antyodaya Express will have water purifiers, fire extinguishers and also modular toilets and bio-toilets.

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