Sunday, August 3, 2014

Good food and Indian Railways – Distance is growing

Bangalore City Railway Staion
I like Indian Railways (IR). If possible, I would like to switch all my short and medium distance journeys to IR. Being said that, I am not a big fan of food provided by Railways. Most often food supplied by unauthorized vendors in trains is far better than the one provided by Railways. Fact is, most of us won’t complain or demand quality food from IR. We are accustomed to the functioning of IR and often consider each journey as a short time affair, which many of us want to forget. This reluctance to complain from passengers didn’t help the matters either.

Hence, today when I read the news (Railways has imposedheavy fines totalling Rs 11.50 lakh on nine caterers including IRCTC forserving "bad quality" food on trains - TOI) I was very much happy. Finally something is happening. IR is finally acting on the complaints and made the vendors responsible for the services they provide. I seriously doubt whether this type of special drives will become a norm.

Railways can do a lot of things to improve the quality of food supplied in stations as well as in train.

1.       First of all IR has to understand the importance of food’s quality. Food is not only about its weight but also about taste.
2.       Rope in prestigious names in industry like Haldiram, MTR, Uduppi Restaurants etc.
3.       Concentrate more on local food verities. If a train is running in southern region make sure that popular southern food items are available in those trains. Same policies go for West, Central, East, North East etc.
4.       Bring in major supply chains to railway stations.
5.       Build food quality assurance team (bring an external agency) for every zone and make frequent inspections using modern tools.
6.       Renew existing contracts based on passenger feedbacks.


Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia

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