Shri R.K.Kulshrestha, General Manager, Southern Railway held a review meeting recently with Shri V Sriram Director, IRCTC and other officials to review the new initiatives of IRCTC in improving the catering services and introduction of new initiatives for the benefit of the passengers of Southern Railway.
Southern Railway has continuously taken initiatives to provide quality food to the travelling passengers both on trains and at stations. At important Railway Stations food plazas and Fast Food Units are established with the help of IRCTC. on platforms different stalls are provided to supply quality food to the passengers. At these stalls standard breakfast and meal items, pre packed food from reputed brands are permitted for sale. Southern Railway has permitted 31 companies to supply their branded products at these stalls.
Southern Railway is also improving the availability of quality food at stations by increasing the number of outlets. Presently tenders for 250 additional food stalls are at different stages of commissioning. To mitigate the problem of availability of food on trains without pantry cars Southern Railway with the help of IRCTC will be providing catering facilities through on board licensed suppliers.
Availability of drinking water to the passengers is of paramount importance to Southern Railways. At stations it is ensured that packaged drinking water is available at all times. This is achieved with the help of IRCTC by way of RAIL NEER bottles and Water vending machines. Presently 187 water vending machines are installed at different stations and further 120 will be installed in due course. In Southern Railway 16 food plazas 9 Fast food units operated by IRCTC are provided quality food to the passengers. Another 8 Food Plazas and 25 fast food units will be established in the near future.
Southern Railway strives to provide quality food to the passengers and also address their inconveniences at the earliest. Various steps are undertaken towards this end. A round the clock catering monitoring cell (Phone Number 044 – 25332545) is operational at Southern Railway Headquarters to receive the complaints and resolve the same. With the active participation of IRCTC further steps are undertaken to improve the passenger statisfaction. All the food packets are labeled with suppliers name, product weight, Food Safety and Standards authority of India license number of the supplier and the production unit and rate of the product. With this the passenger is having full knowledge of the product consumed by him/her.
To provide confidence to the passengers regarding hygienic conditions of the kitchen where the food is prepared, Southern Railway will be facilitating the IRCTC initiative of providing cameras in the Kitchens where the feed of the cameras can be seen online at IRCTC website.
Southern Railway is facilitating electronic payment at catering establishements so that passengers have the option of non cash payment. In all pantry car trains bills can be paid through credit cards. At majority of the stalls at stations payment can be made through credit cards or other e-payment systems.
With a view to provide transparency in transactions IRCTC introduced “ IF NO BILL - FOOD IS FREE” and “ NO TIP ” campaign which resulted in positive feedback from the passengers. IRCTC personnel also take instantaneous feed back and complaints with the help of computer tablets on board the trains as well as at select stations.