One common problem faced by passengers traveling in Indian trains is the quality of food. All of them will have a common consensus in this regard. For the matter, if the food served to you is stale or smells awful, do not worry you are in the same boat. The Indian government has been on the backbench when it comes to quality food served in the long distance trains. The worst part is that most of them have pantry cars, but the problem is the same as before. In the trains the food packets have lasted beyond the expiry date, are unhygienic and are not fit to be consumed.
In some cases , the food has been cooked 4 to 5 days back ! No wonder they send out a pungent smell. This is a problem millions of passengers face who are traveling by sleeper class, where the atmosphere itself is unhygienic. In spite of repeated complaints being made, the Indian railways have turned a blind eye to most of them. Cooks are not up to the standard and the conditions of the kitchens are pretty poor. The ventilation of the kitchen is pretty poor and the vegetables purchased from outside are rotten. The helplines provided by Indian railways are hardly in operation and most of them are dead. According to the viewpoint of Indian railways, food is available in abundance, but they have ignored the main menace that is quality. Most of us are unsatisfied with the maintenance of the bathrooms as well.
Why is food quality not up to the mark in Indian railways?
· Most of the catering services are outsourced, and quality check is hardly done
· There is no background check in the choice of vendors
· Most contracts are taken up by small time vendors whose main objective is to earn money within the shortest time frame and quality is thrown out of the window
· Visitors are allowed to entry the pantry and instead of bringing in revenue more dirt is brought
· There is not a single passenger who is satisfied with the cleanliness of the coaches
But there is a silver lining as they feel that the behavior of railway employees is up to the mark, but the same cannot be said about pantry car staff. Railways must improve the quality of food ditched out to the passengers and teach the pantry car staff to behave in a respectful and courteous manner.
Strict quality checks should be in place and small time vendors are a strict no. Only reputed vendors should be allowed to serve food in Indian railways. Penalties should be high on vendors defaulting and poor quality of food in Indian railways. Menu cards should be placed in coaches on display and the food should not be priced high. The name of the contractor should be displayed and any complaints can be directed towards him. This is one of the main reasons why online Train food has increased in popularity.