Patna: Railways has deployed about 25 catering inspectors in mail and express trains originating from different stations under Danapur division to ensure supply of hygienic and quality meals to passengers on running trains.
According to Danapur DRM R K Jha, these catering inspectors also check whether the meals served to passengers are at the prescribed rate fixed by the Railway Board or not. Passengers used to complain about inflated rates charged from them for meals/breakfast/tea and coffee served by the catering staff on duty, he said, adding that the catering inspectors would also ensure that the waste food materials are disposed of properly to maintain cleanliness inside the coaches.
According to a board official, railways has launched a centralized catering monitoring cell (CCMC) in New Delhi to keep a tab on the quality of food served to passengers on running trains in each zone. A toll-free number, 1800 111 321, has been released for registering complaints, if any, he said.
According to an ECR official, catering monitoring cell has already been set up at the ECR’s zonal and divisional level to keep a tab on the quality of food supplied to passengers on each train originating or passing from the stations of the five ECR divisions, he said.
Railways has introduced a defined ‘quality assurance programme’ under which passengers are to give feedback about the quality of meals served to them on trains. An interactive voice recording system (IVRS) has also been introduced in a few trains to record passengers’ opinion about the food quality served to them, a board official said.
According to sources, more than 200 cases were detected about substandard food served to passengers on running trains. Railways imposed fine on the agencies/contractors concerned in about 50 cases. It has worked out a comprehensive programme to introduce AC pantry cars in most of the zones on the pattern of Rajdhani Express to improve food quality. AC pantry cars will also help railways to preserve cooked or uncooked food materials in a proper way, sources said, adding that railways has already decided to do away with cooking on gas cylinders in pantry cars.