Travelling by train is easily the most underrated form of travel in our country. If you’ve grown up in India, you will agree that travelling in a train is a reason to travel by itself. Some of the most beautiful destinations in India also have some of the most scenic train rides.The old-fashioned appeal of train journeys is set to take a new turn as Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu suggests some exciting offerings while presenting the rail budget for 2016-17. To start with, passengers may soon be able to enjoy local cuisine in place of the standard food that is currently served on trains.Keeping in mind that food and catering are important parameters for customer satisfaction; the railway minister announced that several measures were being taken in order to provide quality food to the passengers. "The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will begin to manage the catering services in a phased manner. IRCTC will unbundle the catering services by creating a distinction primarily between food preparation and its distribution," said Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in the Lok Sabha. "We are exploring the possibility of making mandatory catering services optional in trains. Local cuisine of choice will be made available to passengers," he added. For years, we’ve only been offered an assortment of vegetarian and non-vegetarian thalis with standard dishes in most trains. As per the railway minister’s proposal, passengers could have a chance to savour various local delights and have a different experience every time they travel. The minister has asked for ten more mechanized and sophisticated base kitchens operated by the IRCTC to be created to ensure fresh and hygienic food on trains. The railway ministry is also contemplating to reintroduce 'kulhads' to serve tea and provide a more authentic experience.Travelling with kids may be a challenging task. To make things easier, the ministry is planning to make baby food available on trains. This will include hot milk, hot water and other foods that kids who need to be fed at regular intervals may require.With inputs from IANS
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