The Telegraph
Monday , April 9 , 2012
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Focus on rail food, cleanliness

The Railway Board chairman has asked officials to improve the quality of food and cleanliness on trains “to the passengers’ full satisfaction”.

Officials said chairman Vinay Mittal drew his colleagues’ attention to the two of many permanent grouses of passengers of long-distance trains at review meetings last week.

Mittal met Southeastern and Metro Railway officials on Friday and representatives of Eastern Railway the day after.

“The chairman felt the quality of services and amenities, including catering and cleanliness, should be improved to fully satisfy passengers,” said an official.

“He also stressed the need to improve the quality of tracks, compartments and engines.”

Passengers often complain about poor quality of food, dirty linen and general lack of cleanliness on long-distance trains, including some Rajdhani and Duronto trains.

Earlier, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) was responsible for the catering service on all long-distance trains. Last year, the railway decided to run it on its own.

Officials said the railway has hired private agencies to run the catering service on around half the long-distance trains. On the rest, the IRCTC is still in charge of the service.

Metro had earlier written about the lack of cleanliness and hygiene at some of the base kitchens, where rats and roaches roam freely.