IRCTC to soon customise menus on long-distance trains to include regional cuisines and preferences, seasonal delicacies and festival food; requirements of diabetics, even baby food will be available
A base kitchen of the IRCTC at CSMT, which was closed in the pandemic
Soon you will be able to enjoy all kinds of foods on long-distance trains in India, even dishes fine-tuned for those with special needs such as diabetics, or babies, or those on a diet, who will get millet-based local products. The Indian Railways on Tuesday allowed the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to customise train menus to include regional cuisines as well as seasonal delicacies and requirements during festivals. Food items will also be served as per the preferences of passengers.
In an order issued on Tuesday, the railways accorded approvals for the same for all categories of trains. “For trains in which catering charges are included in the passenger fare, the menus shall be decided by IRCTC within the tariff; in addition, sale of a la carte meals and branded food items at MRP will be allowed. For other mail/express trains, menus of budget segment items like standard meals shall be decided within the fixed tariff,” an official said.
Railway officials said that it would be of immense help as many a time, they receive complaints from passengers that people suffering from diabetes do not get food according to their diet. This leads to confrontations with the catering staff. With customised meals, they will now be able to cater to commuters with various options.
Welcoming the decision, A V Shenoy, senior transport expert with Mumbai Mobility Forum & Mumbai Vikas Samiti, said, “One episode of the National Geographic series India’s Megakitchens was entirely on IRCTC kitchens. They have such big and nice kitchens but the documentary mentioned that only two trains are catered by them. The catering for the Tejas trains is handled by Haldiram’s. I once found the breadsticks provided with soup hard as stone. The omelette was tasteless. Also, the lunch was north Indian. I was just wondering yesterday why railways cannot serve south Indian food on trains going to southern India? They can give a choice. And then this news comes as if they were reading my mind. Let us hope for better changes such as these.”