Land identified for the kitchens on Ajmeri Gate side

In order to improve the quality of food being served onboard the trains, the Delhi Division of Northern Railways has decided to install four new base kitchens at the New Delhi railway station.

Base kitchens supply food for passengers travelling in express and premium trains. While some of them are operated by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), others are run by the Commercial Department of the Railways.

Divisional Railway Manager (Delhi) Anurag Sachan said the department has identified land for the kitchens on Ajmeri Gate side of the station. “The land will soon be allotted to the four operators who will manage the kitchens. Land is being allotted closer to the station as it will help in monitoring the kitchens better,” said Mr. Sachan.

Currently, for trains operating from Delhi, food is being supplied from kitchens operating in Faridabad, Paharganj and one managed by the IRCTC at New Delhi station, officials said.

Quality of food being served in the trains has been a contentious issue for long, with passengers repeatedly complaining that they are stale and contaminated. Sources in Railways said the issue is on priority of the new dispensation at the Centre.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, sources said, has directed top railway officials to set up more base kitchens to improve food quality. They also said these kitchens could even be asked to serve food to schools in the vicinity.

Mid-day meals

“In a recently held meeting with the railway officials, the Prime Minister also suggested that the base kitchens of the Railways can also be given responsibility to supply mid-day meals in the schools in nearby areas so that children get hygienic food,” a senior railway official said

While the Railways is taking measures to improve food quality, the public transporter, as per instructions from the Prime Minister, is also planning to connect with the passengers by sensitising them about the cost that the Railways incurs in providing subsidised food to them on board.

“On food packets, stickers could be used indicating that the food has been subsidised and is at the cost of common man. E-mail address and social network address could also be mentioned for feedback of passengers,” said an official.

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