Flooded with complaints about quality of food being served, Railways will soon come out with a new catering policy to provide quality food to passengers on rail premises. Passengers can now look forward to enjoying home cooked local food supplied by self-help groups during their train journey.
According to Railways, a pilot project has been launched in the Konkan region of Maharashtra for supply of local cuisine by SHGs to train travellers.
Chairman and Managing Director, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), A K Manocha said,
We have entered into a partnership with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) to facilitate SHGs of farmers to supply local meals to train passengers.
As per the arrangement, two stations in the Konkan region – Kudal and Sawantwadi – have been identified for the pilot project. Passengers will have to order the meal online through IRCTC website during their journey. Manocha said a similar initiative has been launched in Kerala also and plans are there to extend it to all over the country. IRCTC will rope in SHGs for supply of home-cooked local meals on trains in other stations as well, he said.
The pilot project is part of the railway budget 2016-17 announcement by Minister Suresh Prabhu to explore the possibility of giving the choice of local cuisine to passengers.
Railways has launched the e-catering facility offering passengers options to book their meals online instead of depending on food supplied by contractors or pantry cars.
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Few days back the center had launched a e-catering service for the same.Using that,there are four ways for booking food at stations. First, one can dial 1323, order food and make payment through Cash on Delivery (COD) mode. Second, one can download “Food on Track” app on Android or IOS platforms, order food and make payment either in advance or through COD. Third, food can be ordered on IRCTC’s e-catering website – ecatering.irctc.co.in make online payment in advance or through COD. Lastly, passengers can choose to SMS to 139 and order food after giving details of their PNR and seat number.