New Delhi: Railways has agreed to take possession of Rs 14 crore state-of-the-art kitchen equipment lying at the Games Village from the Organising Committee (OC)
of the Commonwealth Games free of cost.
The costly high capacity gas-based kitchen equipment was imported from London by the OC for the Games Village to prepare 7,000 meals daily.
After the Games were over in October last year, the huge kitchen equipment was lying idle at the Games Village. "Though we tried to sell the equipment with depreciated value there were no takers. There were discussions with some parties including the National Defence Academy and ITDC to hand over this kitchen equipment, but it did not work out," a source in the OC said.
The OC had imported about 500 bulk cooking and serving equipment, including giant trolleys and display units, for the Games Village.
"Railways has written a letter to us agreeing to take it free of cost for their base kitchens and modalities are being worked out for its transportation. A team of railway officials had also inspected the equipment at the Village recently," the source said.
Railways already has a base kitchen at New Delhi station which prepares 8,000 meals daily to cater to several trains.
However, Railways follow manual system to prepare food at the base kitchen. "We have to redesign our base kitchen to make the kitchen equipment operational because these are fully gas-based mechanised equipment," said a senior railway
official, who had inspected the equipment at the Village.
The OC had earlier given the Rs 40 crore aerostat balloon to the DRDO free of cost. With Railways agreeing to take away the Rs 14 crore imported kitchen equipment, OC is left with a few computers, laptops, massage tables and gift items including mementos, Shera toys, umbrellas and towels to do away with before handing over the two-floor office to the NDMC.
As per the new catering policy, Railways has recently taken away the catering responsibility from the IRCTC and is doing it departmentally.
"We need more base kitchens with modern equipment to cater to growing number of trains. The kitchen equipment to be procured from Games Village will make the food preparation faster as the system is fully automatic," the official said.
“There are automatic tilting frying pans to make varieties of vegetables and curries faster and paratha and roti making equipment to make about 1000 rotis in an hour," he said.
However, Railways have to make some arrangements for the maintenance of this imported equipment. "We will make some arrangements required for the maintenance and repair, in case of any breakdown, of this equipment," the official said.