Soon, long-distance trains in India will be able to serve a variety of foods, including dishes tailored to those with special needs, such as diabetics, babies, or those on a diet, who will be served millet-based local products. The Indian Railways allowed the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to customise train menus to include regional cuisines, seasonal delicacies, and festival requirements on Tuesday. Food will also be served based on passenger preferences.
The railways granted approvals for all categories of trains in an order issued on Tuesday. “For trains in which catering charges are included in the passenger fare, the menus shall be decided by IRCTC within the tariff; in addition, sale of a la carte meals and branded food items at MRP will be allowed. For other mail/express trains, menus of budget segment items like standard meals shall be decided within the fixed tariff,” an officials said.
Welcoming the decision, A V Shenoy, senior transport expert with Mumbai Mobility Forum & Mumbai Vikas Samiti, said, “One episode of the National Geographic series India’s Megakitchens was entirely on IRCTC kitchens. They have such big and nice kitchens but the documentary mentioned that only two trains are catered by them. The catering for the Tejas trains is handled by Haldiram’s. I once found the breadsticks provided with soup hard as stone. The omelette was tasteless. Also, the lunch was north Indian. I was just wondering yesterday why railways cannot serve south Indian food on trains going to southern India? They can give a choice. And then this news comes as if they were reading my mind. Let us hope for better changes such as these.”