Almost every commuter on a long-distance train would have undergone the ordeal of forcing down poor quality food supplied by the Railways.
This may soon be a thing of the past as the Railway budget presented on Tuesday has promised the supply of quality food that can also be ordered online. Railway minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda said there are plans to introduce ready-to-eat meals of reputed brands in a phased manner.
Food courts at major stations will soon start serving regional cuisine, which can be booked through email, SMS and smartphones, onboard trains. The Railways will also introduce a quality assurance mechanism through a third party audit carried out by agencies certified by the National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies.
A system of collecting feedback from commuters on the quality of food served, through an IVRS mechanism, will be launched shortly. Severe action, including cancellation of the contract, will be initiated against vendors if the quality does not meet standards.
Meanwhile, V. Santhanam, president of Chromepet Railway Users Forum, said the food should be subsidised. “The State government can be provided space to start Amma Canteens at railway stations,” he said.