IRCTC sacks 23 food contractors, warns another 24 to improve food quality onboard trains

Published: Nov 23, 2019, 17:56 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

In a stringent move aimed at ensuring quality catering, IRCTC has issued notices to 47 onboard catering service providers, giving them directions to bring about perceptible changes in the standard of catering service

This picture has been used for representation purpose only
This picture has been used for representation purpose only

IRCTC is taking significant measures to bring about a radical improvement in the quality of meals and food services on trains.

In a stringent move aimed at ensuring quality catering, IRCTC has issued notices to 47 onboard catering service providers, giving them directions to bring about perceptible changes in the standard of catering service. This number is 13% of the total onboard catering contracts numbering 358 which are in operation on trains. Out of these, IRCTC has already discontinued 24 contracts for non adherence to the stipulated performance standards. The performance of remaining 23 contractors is under watch and after reassessment suitable action will be taken. The company is said to b on a crackdown on under performers and will discontinue their contracts if found below benchmark.

Besides, the company has taken various stern steps to improve the quality of meals served to the passengers on trains. IRCTC has deployed its catering supervisors and assistants in most of the passenger trains to monitor the catering services as well as to address the grievances of the passengers on real time basis.

The company has also been conducting audits in various trains, base kitchens, food plazas through third party auditors for assessing the food safety and hygiene levels in the units.

IRCTC is also conducting customer satisfaction survey in the company managed trains regularly by reputed third party agencies to get the feedback and opinion of travelling passengers.

IRCTC has installed CCTV cameras in all important kitchens under its management. These kitchens can be viewed live by anybody through IRCTC’s website and ‘e-drishti’ portal of Railways to see the food preparation and hygiene standards of the unit.

Other important measures being taken by IRCTC to further improve the quality of on-board catering services include mandatory billing through POS machines and use of bio-degradable packaging material of meals being served.

IRCTC is making all out efforts to improve the menu by introducing various regional cuisines in meals and giving choices in breakfast in premium trains and including new food items such as caramel popcorns.

Indian Railways has been constantly working towards ensuring quality onboard catering services in its passenger carrying trains through its PSU Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), which is the catering & tourism arm of Railways.

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