The Railways will launch Wi-Fi facility on four popular intercity trains in the Mysore Division on a pilot basis.
This was revealed today by South Western Railway Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Rajkumar Lal at a meeting with Railway catering contractors on improving catering services at railway stations and on trains, especially with regards to hygiene and taste.
A modern base kitchen was coming up at Mysore for supplying rail passengers tasty food prepared in hygienic conditions, he stated adding that work on the subway connecting all platforms at Mysore was also progressing. Commissioning of a computerised advanced reservation centre at the post office in NR Mohalla and setting up of the ‘Yatri Ticket Sewak Kendras’ — a PPP initiative in city areas — were also on the agenda of the division, the DRM added.
Addressing the meeting convened against the backdrop of the directive by the Railways Minister stressing upon the need for improvement in Railway’s catering services, the DRM told catering contractors that inspections by officers and supervisors would be intensified and warned that major deficiencies noticed during inspections would be viewed very seriously. Besides penalty of Rs 25,000 per occasion, licence of such contractors would be revoked if improvements are not forthcoming.
Rajkumar Lal also stated that it was now mandatory for all catering contractors to obtain certificates from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). He asked the licensees to ensure staff employed by them wore the prescribed uniform and name badge.
Personal hygiene of food handlers was also very important. Disposal of garbage generated by catering units at stations/on trains, as per the comprehensive guidelines issued, was the primary responsibility of the contractors. Any deviation resulting in unhygienic atmosphere would attract harsh penal action.
Speaking on the concept of economy meals, popularly known as ‘Janatha Khana’, the DRM was of the opinion that instead of poories, an alternative like thick curd rice, could be a viable option since food habits in South India were different.