New Delhi: Taking passengers complaints into
account, railways today decided to take over the catering
responsibility and entrusted zonal railways to ensure food
quality onboard trains and in stations while also protecting
the interest of small time vendors.
The new catering policy 2010, would come into effect
within three months. During the transition phase, railways
will manage these services through departmental supervision by
engaging reputed professionals, railway sources said.
Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd, a
railway subsidiary which handled the catering till now, will
lose business to the tune of Rs 400 crore in view of the new
catering policy. It will now be responsible for selling
e-ticket and i-ticket and running the Rail Neer business.
Railway Board will now determine the menu and tariff for
the standard meals, breakfast, tea, coffee and catering
charges for meals, etc., which are included in the fare, they
The new policy comes in the wake of increased passenger
complaints about the quality of food served onboard trains and
As per the new catering policy, zonal railways will now
play a significant role in improving the services in trains
The zonal railways will be responsible for ensuring that
the standards, as laid down, are maintained and policy
directives issued by the Railway Board from time to time are
strictly complied with.
They will institutionalise a mechanism for monitoring the
Zonal railways will also decide the extent, type and
scale of catering services required to be provided at each
station, on board trains and ensure adequate availability of
affordable food for common passengers.
The policy says the base kitchens and the mobile
catering services will be taken over by the zonal railways in
The zones will also be instrumental in setting up a grid
of modern mega, medium and small base kitchens to ensure that
all mobile catering are serviced through these base kitchens
to improve quality, hygiene, cleanliness and use of standard
ingredients for food served on trains.