New Delhi: Railways have decided to offer passengers the choice of booking their meal along with their ticket, payment for which will be accepted only after the food is served.
Under the ‘book a meal’ scheme, passengers reserving berths online on the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website can place the order of their choice “which will be duly served to them once they embark on their journey.”
The delicacies range from masala dosa to egg and vegetable biryani.
The facility is only for those who have fully confirmed e-tickets.
“The payment will not be taken online. Cash payment will be taken by pantry car staff on train only on successfully delivering the service,” said a Railway Ministry official.
The service has been launched on a pilot basis in two trains — 2780 Goa Express and 2628 Karnataka Express trains– to assess passenger feedback, the official said.
“The book a meal option is available for breakfast, lunch, dinner etc. The meals booked will be served by the pantry car staff strictly according to the service timings mentioned on the website,” he said.
Once the meal has been booked, cancellation or modification will not be permitted, he said.
Railways is in the midst of finalising its revised catering policy after it received flak from several quarters over the quality of food served onboard trains.
IRCTC, engaged in catering operations in about 300 odd trains, has also revamped its passenger grievances redressal mechanism to receive passenger feed back.
Under the new scheme, the official said, the catering staff will carry a list of food ordered by the passengers.
On its website, railways have provided the details of the food along with the prices.
Orders for packaged bottle drinking water, ketchup sachet etc. can also be placed online.
This apart, orders for standard veg and non-veg meals and morning breakfast can be booked online. These items will be served in a casserole.