NATIONAL

Fast food for rail passengers

Sujay Mehdudia

Aim to turn around the image of the Railways, says IRCTC chief

McDonald, Nirula's to open outlets at Delhi stationsTrains to have modular kitchens

NEW DELHI: Modernisation is the buzzword in Indian Railways. And the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has not been left untouched by this.

Travelling could turn out to be a "pleasant but filling experience," with IRCTC deciding to rope in fast food chains and install vending machines for beverages and food items.

"Our effort is to turn around the image of the Railways through the food served on trains and services available at the stations. Modular kitchens such as the ones seen while travelling by air, quality control through third-party inspection, round-the-clock monitoring and setting up a chain of budget hotels across the country is being taken up ambitiously," IRCTC Managing Director P.K. Goyal said.

The modernisation mantra is going to take wings from the capital with fast food chains such as McDonald and the desi Nirula's being asked to set up shop at the stations. The food chain will include other brands also to make available the best possible for the travelling public.

"The multinational burger chain McDonald will open its outlet first at the Old Delhi railway station and Nirula's at the New Delhi station. Opening of other outlets of fast food chains will follow this.

In addition to this, vending machines will be installed at stations across the country that will give instant access to passengers and visitors to beverages and food items," Mr. Goyal said.

Quality control

Special emphasis is being laid on quality control. Catering units in trains will have modular kitchens and a spic and span atmosphere.

The Railways has appointed 100 quality inspectors, who will be on the move all the time making surprise inspections. "Quality Monitoring Control offices have been set up in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Secunderabad to ensure round-the-clock monitoring in addition to third-party inspection being put in place."