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Has the quality of food in Indian Railways trains been compromised? This is what the Parliament panel report says

food on indian railway trains: The Public Accounts Committee has recently presented a report in the Lok Sabha, in which it has been told that continuous changes are taking place in the Railways. catering policy And due to inconsistencies in its implementation, food quality, hygiene and sanitation has been compromised. The committee, headed by Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, conducted a detailed inquiry into the catering policy of the Railways and its impact on food services in trains.
According to PTI, the report titled ‘Catering Services in Indian Railways’ found that many catering activities originally assigned to the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) in the 2005 policy were transferred to zonal railways as of 2010. I went. policy, and then handed back to him IRCTC In the 2017 policy.
The Committee noted that frequent changes in the catering policy and consequent transfer of responsibility from Railways to IRCTC and back have created a situation of uncertainty in the management of catering services provided to passengers. The report also highlighted discrepancies in the implementation of the 2017 catering policy.
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Some of the anomalies include the absence of pantries in some long distance trains, base kitchens located outside the railway premises resulting in compromise in food quality, hygiene and cleanliness, presence of unauthorized vendors on platforms and in stations and trains. Involves inappropriate behavior. ,
Expressing concern about the quality of food served in trains, the report noted that IRCTC, as per its 2017 policy, has to set up base kitchens at the railway premises to monitor and control the quality and hygiene of the food being cooked. Had to do. However, out of 131 base kitchens, only 16 were located inside the railway premises, while the remaining 115 were located outside and were not quality checked.
The report said that since the food was being procured from outside, it was apparently not subjected to regular and continuous quality checks, thus failing to ensure quality, hygiene and cleanliness.
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The report revealed that seven zonal railways failed to prepare master plans for food services, as per the 2017 policy, until an audit pointed this out. These railway zones are East Central, Eastern, Northeast Frontier, North Western, South Eastern, South Western and East Coast Railway.
The report also mentioned that as per the 2010 catering policy, gas burners in pantry cars should have been replaced with electric appliances to prevent fire accidents. However, the committee found that 103 pantry cars manufactured by the Integral Coach Factory during April 2011 to March 2016 were fitted with open flame centralized LPG cylinders instead of electrical equipment.
The Railways has replaced the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) coaches with Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches, and now only LHB pantry cars are being manufactured, gradually phasing out ICF pantry cars. .
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The committee also highlighted the absence of pantry cars in many long distance trains running more than 24 hours. The report said this led to the presence of unauthorized vendors in trains who were selling unhygienic and unhealthy food products, posing a threat to the safety of passengers.
The report emphasizes the need for Indian Rail And IRCTC has to improve its catering services on moving trains, platforms and other areas where passengers require them. It called for a holistic and sustained effort to benefit the passengers.

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