The Railway Budget today proposed to introduce ready-to-eat meals of reputed brands on-board trains to improve food quality and cancel vendors' contract if services were not up to the mark. Presenting the Railway Budget for 2014-15, Railway Minister D V Sadananda Gowda also proposed to introduce a 'quality assurance mechanism' to improve catering services through third party audit.
"In order to improve quality, hygiene of on-board catering services and to provide variety, I propose to introduce pre-cooked (ready-to-eat) food of reputed brands in a phased manner," Gowda said, expressing concern over catering services.
To bring about a perceptible improvement in catering services, the Minister proposed a quality assurance mechanism through a third party audit by National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies. A system of collecting feedback through IVRS mechanism from the travelling passengers on the quality of food served will be launched shortly, he said.
"If the service is not up to the standard set, especially in the hygiene and the taste, severe action would be initiated against the vendors including cancellation of contract," he said.
Gowda also proposed to set up food courts at major stations to provide the option of ordering regional cuisine while on-board, through emails and sms. This service will be started shortly between New Delhi- Amritsar and New Delhi-Jammu Tawi sections.