New Delhi, Nov 15: Railways on Friday rationalised catering tariff and menu for Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto Trains and standard meals on Mail, Express trains being served through Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) with a view to further improving variety, hygiene and quality of food for its passengers.
The revised catering tariff shall be effective from March 29, 2020 on Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto trains and with immediate effect on other Mail, Express trains.
Revision in catering charges will be applicable only for those passengers who opt for catering services in trains. The rate of Janta Meal has been kept unchanged at Rs 20. ‘Snack Meal’ with regional items, cuisine, flavour introduced at the rate of Rs 50 as a meal variety.
The tariff of Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto trains has been revised after six years since the last revision in 2013 while the tariff of standard meals for Mail, Express trains after seven years since the last revision in 2012.
With a view to arrive at realistic prices, a Committee was nominated by the Railway Board to examine and recommend the revision in menu and tariff of these services.
The Committee scientifically examined all aspects of costing keeping in mind the objective to provide good quality and hygienic food to the travelling passengers on Indian Railways. Based on the reports of the Committee, the revised menu and tariff have been notified.
The quality of meals on trains is contingent on rational pricing and factors like cost of raw material, WPI, CPI which have increased over the years.
Catering services in trains over Indian Railways are provided by IRCTC and have two categories i.e. pre-paid services like Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto Trains where catering charges are included in the ticket fare (on opt-in basis) and post –paid catering services like on other Mail/Express where standard meals and other food items are made available on sale.
Affordability, ensuring the availability of regional cuisine and variety in standard meals to passengers have been taken care of.
Salient features for Mail, Express trains include the rate of Janta Meal has been kept unchanged at Rs 20 and to prevent overcharging in the name of a-la-carte meals, it has now been decided that no a-la-carte meals shall be permitted for sale on Mail, Express trains.
However a la carte snacks items like samosa, pakoda will be permitted for sale. Now more regional food variety will also be available for the passengers. ‘Snack Meal’ with regional items, cuisine, flavour is being introduced at the rate of Rs 50 as a meal variety. This would be of 350 grams portion and the menu will be decided by IRCTC.
It has been decided to offer Biryani as a standard meal variety in view of its popularity. IRCTC shall make available three types of Biryani (Veg., Egg and Chicken) at the rate of Rs 80, 90 and 110.
It has also been decided to introduce chicken curry as an option in standard non-veg. meal in addition to the existing standard non-veg meal with egg curry and standard veg. meal. As such, there shall be three categories of standard meals viz., Standard Vegetarian Meal, Standard Non-Vegetarian Meal (with 2 Eggs curry) and Standard Non-Vegetarian Meal (with Chicken Curry) against the existing two.
Indian Railways is committed to serve good quality food. With the above rationalization the quality and variety of services are expected to further improve.
To ensure quality of service, IRCTC is already taking steps like production and supply of meals on trains shall be progressively done from IRCTC managed Kitchens.
To maintain real time monitoring of food production and hygiene in kitchens, CCTVs have been installed in IRCTC kitchens with live streaming facility on Rail Drishti and the IRCTC website. Stringent quality parameters include supply of branded products in hygienic condition and of Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) standards.
Mandatory external audit (Third Party Audit) by reputed and independent agency will undertake audit of quality of services periodically.
IRCTC shall progressively introduce good quality biodegradable packaging material and QR coding of its meals.
The impact on the total ticket fares of the pre-paid trains will be an increase in the range of 3% to 9% for passengers who opt for meals. (UNI)