If you are an Indian, then I bet you must have travelled in the Indian Railways. Presently, the Indian Railways is famous for supporting the largest railway network in the world. Millions of passengers travel every single day throughout the nation. The Railway coaches are said to provide proper bedding, clean toilets and decent meals. Sadly, the meal part has been the most controversial service in their list of services. As nobody seems to be satisfied with the quality. This dissatisfaction is more evident when you see passengers bringing their own food in the AC coaches that already provides meals for the passengers.
Why they are pathetic:
In the recent times the Indian Railways has been notorious in cost cutting. In the past they used to serve soups in proper flasks but now they only serves with thermocol cups. The quality of the meals was never that great, but in the past they at least they served it hot. However, today in majority of the train you cannot expect a hot and decent meal. Everything appears to be dated and not fresh. IRCTC charges hefty amounts for their regular meals but they always fails to provide the value out of their meals. Plus, many passengers have been reporting hygiene issues with their meals. In fact, some passengers got their meal infested with bugs and flies. It is totally unacceptable considering the greatness of name of Indian Railways. I can say without any hesitation that even the roadside hawker sells better value and hygienic stuff than IRCTC.
In the western countries you will find trains with separate buffet car, where you can go and dine without any issue. On the other hand, in India only few new special trains have got that facility. I can say that only the first class coach of the Indian Railways serves some nice food in their coaches. In fact, there you will get your food nice and warm served in decent cutlery. While, rest of the classes serves the pathetic food and services. Moreover, this problem becomes more hurting when while leaving the train their staff asks you for tip for their service. In that case, our mind goes like, what service? I can assure that even the local Bhandara (food distribution) in the Gurdwara serves better food at zero cost
Indian Railways had many ministers in its authority. But none took the initiative to resolve this problem. Above all, their staff is going more corrupt day by day with their tricks. They often resale the products unconsumed by the passengers on the train. I bet If some private restaurant chains were there on the train, then the situations could have been far better. Similar to a food court there would have been more competition to serve the best food to the customer. Sadly, though IRCTC holds complete monopoly over this department and no one is expected to replace them in catering in the near future.
People have protested against this issue but Government remained deaf and dumb to their appeal. No doubt, Indian Railways is gaining huge profit by charging more than the value of the meals. Their department remains highly corrupt and backwards till date. You must have noticed the same thing in the IRCTC approved canteens. As they certainly are not clean and don’t serve hygienic food. While if it been some private vendor then it would have been the complete opposite. Therefore, we need regular health inspections in the catering department of Indian Railways.