New Delhi: The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will get a major overhaul in its meals and services from July 15.
Under the new changes, passengers of Rajdhani and Duronto Express trains will get quality food instead of quantity food and the services will also be revamped.
A Zee Media report said that passengers traveling in these premier trains will get dry vegetables for lunch and dinner. For non-vegetarian customers, IRCTC will serve boneless chicken instead of chicken with bone.
Upon arrival, passengers will get a welcome drink and soups will be discontinued post July 15. For breakfast, passengers will be served an additional chocolate bar.
IRCTC services will also see a major overhaul from July 15. Meals will be served to passengers using trolleys and bio-degradable food. There will be hand sanitiser for better hygiene maintenance. The service revamp will be completed in a phased manner in three months time.
Furthermore, service bearers will get a new uniform.
Notably, in May this year, Railways started a scheme on a trial basis on the Sealdah Rajdhani, where passengers were being served in plates made of bagasse, the fibrous remains left behind after extracting sugarcane juice.
In a scathing report last year the Comptroller and Auditor General of India had said that the food sold at railway stations was "unfit for human consumption" and the hygiene standards at railway catering units were below par.
The CAG performance audit found unpurified tap water being used to make beverages, uncovered and unwashed waste bins, food left out in the open, and rats and cockroaches at catering units in trains and stations
The report was prepared after inspections at 74 stations and 80 trains, covering the period from 2013 to 2016 and issues of earlier years which could not be reported earlier.
The Railway Ministry had later assured that measures wer already been put in place to control and improve food quality.
(Reported by Sameer Dixit)