Mumbai: The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has planned to take over the base kitchens at Mumbai Central and Chhtrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) by the end of this month. The base kitchen is where the food is prepared at the railway stations and supplied to long distance trains.
The move is a part of new Catering Policy of the Indian Railways (2017) which states that mobile catering services and base kitchens will be managed by IRCTC. The move is set to bring an improvement in the quality of the food supplied in long distance trains like Rajdhani Express, Duronto Express and Shatabdi Express.
The IRCTC officials said that, after the takeover, the production capacity of the meals supplied to the trains will be more than double for Rajdhani express. “Mumbai Central has a 3000 square feet kitchen with the production capacity of supplying 2000 meals to the passengers. It has plans to supply atleast 5000 meals to Rajdhani Express which is supplied through the base kitchen at Mumbai Central,” said Pinakin Morawala, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of IRCTC.
It will also bring new menu with special focus to regional food items in order to cater to the taste of passengers from both northern and southern part of the country. “Usually there are problems related to the food preferred by people travelling to northern and southern part of India. At times, there is a lack of availability of South Indian food on trains moving to north. We are trying to bring all possible apparatus in place to improve the catering services,” added Morawala.
IRCTC is getting back to catering business after seven years. The base kitchens were earlier managed by IRCTC till 2010.
The Railways announced a new policy for its catering services in February 2017 which separates the functioning of its cooking and food distribution onboard.