The IRCTC (and Indian Railways) is all set to follow the model of catering employed by the airlines in India. A landmark decision is being taken to discard the pantry car in favor of base kitchens run by Indian railways. This moves comes after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had last month said railway food was unsuitable for human consumption. Modernization and privatization are key here. IRCTc is planning to rope in private food services and facility management company Sodexo and Travel food services.
- Multinational players roped in by IRCTC.
- Possibility of engaging service from hospitality industry.
- Road map for developing base kitchens is being undertaken by Pricewaterhouse Coopers.
- Narrow charter of duites for pantry cars. To prepare and serve only snacks, tea and coffee.
- The Ministry of Railways is set to hand over catering-related operations to IRCTC.
- Plans to conduct third-party audits and to monitor the quality of food cooked in the base kitchens on a regular basis.
- 16 base kitchens were located on railway premises, while 115 base kitchens were located outside railway premises and were not subjected to quality check.
- Recycled and contaminated food.
- Cleanliness and hygiene by contractors is very poor.
- Absence of bills and account receipts for food served.
- Gang monopoly in service provided for catering by IRCTC and Indian Railways., cleanliness of kitchens and quality of food supplied on running trains.
This decision could revolutionize the food service for passengers on Indian Railways. A welcome change for those especially who depend on railways at regular intervals. Role of private players will bring a positive change. TFS is one of the largest food-and-beverage operator in the travel segment. It currently has operations in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Nagpur and Visakhapatnam.