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News Entry# 288427
Dec 13 2016 (07:32)  IRCTC to get back control over on-board catering (
News Entry# 288427   Blog Entry# 2089519     
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Posted by: rdb*^  133028 news posts
The Union government has proposed scrapping the catering policy of the previous government by giving back control over catering services in trains to the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) from the railway board.
In its new catering policy, the union government has proposed reversing a decision by the then Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee in 2010 to take away on-board catering from IRCTC, which was set up in 1999 with a mandate to improve catering and tourism services, and give it to the zonal Railways.
However, the new catering policy is silent
on Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu’s plan to make catering services optional in premium trains such as Rajdhanis and Shatabdis by giving passengers an option to opt out of the compulsory meal at the time of ticket-booking.
“All pantry car service contracts awarded by zonal railways shall be reassigned to IRCTC on the same terms and conditions, as per the plan decided mutually by IRCTC and Railways,” the proposed catering policy of 2016 said. IRCTC will also take over the management of on-board catering services for which contracts have not been awarded by zonal railways, according to the policy.
Till early this year, IRCTC was operating catering services on 49 pairs of trains, mostly Duronto, Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains and the remaining 289 pairs of trains were handled by Zonal Railways,with the help of private contractors.
Base kitchens
Further, all four base kitchens of the Railways will be handed over to IRCTC along with refreshment rooms at major railway stations. IRCTC will be setting up new kitchens and upgrading the existing ones to ensure quality in food supplied on-board. For serving food in trains, IRCTC will be allowed to hire professionals from the hospitality industry.
IRCTC will determine the menu of standard meals in trains considering “the local taste and cuisine” in mind. However, the meal fares will still have to be approved by the Railway Board.
The policy proposes providing equipments with “state of art technology” and “progressive switch over from gas burner to safer electrically powered equipments.”
Pantry cars to be designed such that there is suitable space to keep pre-cooked and packed food. “This will eliminate the usage of vestibules and the area around the toilets presently being used for this purpose and this will ensure hygienic services,” the draft policy said. Light-weight compact trolleys may be used in trains to ensure food is not kept on the floor at the time of service.

Dec 13 2016 (12:10)
rdb*^   31881 blog posts   422943 correct pred (82% accurate)
Re# 2089519-1            Tags   Past Edits
IRCTC is better than present arrangement
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