A major overhaul of Railway catering services is on the anvil with an action plan being put into operation, geared at improving quality of food, overcharging and measures to improve food safety and hygiene.
Such an action plan was put into operation on the basis of a study done by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), relating to various dimensions entailing onboard provision of food services.
The study is based on an onboard customer satisfaction survey with a sample size large enough to cater to the cultural and geographical distribution of a continental size country that is India.
The survey highlighted that the major problem areas identified included food quality (50.88 per cent), Bedroll (15.09 per cent) and overcharging (13.73 per cent).
IRCTC adopted a strategy to counter problems that included introduction of hamper system in base kitchen, conducting food and hygiene audit, centralised rate contract for reputed branded quality product, MoA with HPCL for smooth supply of LPG gas over catering units and adoption of fuel efficient practices in base kitchen.
”The overall quality approach benefited IRCTC with cost saving of Rs 8.91 crore,” a statement said. Incidentally, the study got the ‘QCI-DL Shah National Awards on Economics of Quality’ which was received by IRCTC Managing Director Rakesh Kumar Tandon at a function here today.
IRCTC took up the ”challenge” of improving quality of catering services and ‘’started measuring and re-building its capabilities”. In order to further improve quality of services of the mammoth public sector undertaking, a plan of action has been put into practice.
These included coordination with railways for improvement in pantry car equipment, spreading awareness among passengers to curb overcharging, improvement in cleanliness of compartments as well as panty cars in coordination with railway authorities.