Sunday, July 25, 2010

Railways to take over catering services from IRCTC
New Delhi, July 22 (PTI)

In a major setback to the IRCTC, Railways have decided to strip the PSU of its catering responsibilities in Rajdhani, Duronto, Shatabdi and all other mail and express trains.

The Catering Policy-2010 finalised by Railways have clearly spelt out that "Railways shall progressively take over management of all mobile catering services including base kitchens, pantry cars and all food stalls in railway premises".

At present, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC), a Railway subsidiary, is responsible for serving food in about 300 trains including in premier trains like Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi.

With this move, IRCTC will forgo at least Rs 200 crore catering business, said a senior IRCTC official.

Railway Board will now determine the menu and tariff for the standard meals, breakfast, tea, coffee and catering charges for meals, etc., which are included in the fare.

Rlys takes over catering; IRCTC to lose Rs 400 cr

Updated on Thursday, July 22, 2010, 22:40 IST

New Delhi:
Taking passengers complaints into account, railways today decided to take over the catering responsibility and entrusted zonal railways to ensure food quality onboard trains and in stations while also protecting the interest of small time vendors.
The new catering policy 2010, would come into effect within three months. During the transition phase, railways will manage these services through departmental supervision by engaging reputed professionals, railway sources said.

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd, a railway subsidiary which handled the catering till now, will lose business to the tune of Rs 400 crore in view of the new catering policy. It will now be responsible for selling e-ticket and i-ticket and running the Rail Neer business.

Railway Board will now determine the menu and tariff for the standard meals, breakfast, tea, coffee and catering charges for meals, etc., which are included in the fare, they said.

The new policy comes in the wake of increased passenger complaints about the quality of food served onboard trains and in stations.

As per the new catering policy, zonal railways will now play a significant role in improving the services in trains and stations.

The zonal railways will be responsible for ensuring that the standards, as laid down, are maintained and policy directives issued by the Railway Board from time to time are strictly complied with.

They will institutionalise a mechanism for monitoring the catering services.

Zonal railways will also decide the extent, type and scale of catering services required to be provided at each station, on board trains and ensure adequate availability of affordable food for common passengers.

The policy says the base kitchens and the mobile catering services will be taken over by the zonal railways in phases.

The zones will also be instrumental in setting up a grid of modern mega, medium and small base kitchens to ensure that all mobile catering are serviced through these base kitchens to improve quality, hygiene, cleanliness and use of standard ingredients for food served on trains.


CPM putting cockroaches in train food: Mamata
Updated on Thursday, July 22, 2010, 14:11 IST

Kolkata: Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee has suggested CPM's hand in the train accident in Sainthia and the Jnaneswari Express mishap and ruled out resigning on moral grounds.

"I am prepared to resign if the CPM guarantees that it will not indulge in sabotage," she said slamming the Marxists for demanding her resignation in the wake of Monday's accident in Birbhum district which left 66 persons dead.

Banerjee, who had resigned twice earlier as union minister, said people were ringing her up to tell her not to walk into CPM's trap by quitting.

"They have been planning sabotage. They are trying to ruin the (reputation of) Railways by letting cockroaches into food. It is time for the CPM to go. The Jnaneswari Express accident took place on May 28 two before the Kolkata Municipal Corporation elections," she pointed out.

Banerjee was addressing her party's mammoth Martyr's Day rally organised in the memory of 13 Youth Congress workers killed in a police firing here on this day in 1993.

"The accident at Sainthia occurred on July 19 before our Martyr's Day rally today. Both took place around 2:00 am. Many people were killed. This should be probed. The CBI is investigating the earlier accident.

"They (Marxists) are not planning development, but opening clips on tracks. Some comrades are drawing up scientific plans. After the Jnaneswari (accident) they strung up a poster claiming that it was an accident. Who were behind it should be investigated. It is sabotage," she said


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