IRCTC plans incentives for contractors providing quality food
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Last Updated: Sunday, August 23, 2009, 11:05
New Delhi: Faced with mounting criticism over the quality of food served on trains, the IRCTC is now mulling awarding 'incentives' based on passenger feedback to contractors providing quality catering.

The Corporation's managing director Rakesh Tandon said the IRCTC will also ensure food audit by a third party besides introducing new-age technologies to serve the food freshly cooked.

"We will conduct quarterly customer satisfaction survey in all trains including Shatabdis and Rajdhanis and link it to an incentive scheme whereby contractors serving good food will be awarded," he told reporters.

The objective is to ultimately set a benchmark and give bonus if the contractor's performance surpasses it.

However, he said the incentive-linked scheme is still at the "concept level" and the idea is being discussed in several fora.

Of the 250-odd trains with catering facilities, the IRCTC is directly handling the catering job in a few Rajdhanis while for other trains it has awarded contracts to private players.

The Corporation has, however, come under constant criticism for the quality of food served.

The IRCTC is also contemplating to conduct a safety and hygiene audit by a third party to improve catering services.

"The plan is to conduct safety and hygiene audit by an expert professional body in every quarter. The audit will cover food being supplied in train and in base kitchen," Tandon said, adding, the report will also be linked to the incentive scheme.

He said the IRCTC has already introduced a new technology in a few Rajdhani trains.

"This technology is called face change material and it will ensure that the temperature is maintained for a long time so that the food remains fresh."

About the Janata meal scheme, he said since its launch about a month back, more than 70,000 to 80,000 packets of 'poori and sabzi' are being sold everyday across the country.

He said plans are afoot to offer regional delicacies catering to local taste on a similar scale.

"The food may be 'Idli' in South, 'luchi-sabzi' in West Bengal or items made of 'besan' in Rajasthan," he said.

While a packet of 'poori-sabzi' is priced at Rs 10, price of the regional dishes to be introduced has not been fixed as yet.

Bureau Report

First Published: Sunday, August 23, 2009, 11:05

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