THE Railway Board has given its catering and tourism arm IRCTC the flexibility to customise its menu to include local and regional cuisines as well as food suitable for diabetics, infants and health aficionados.
According to a note sent by the Railway Board to the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), the move is aimed at improving catering services on trains and give passengers more options.
“As a measure to improve catering services on trains, it has been decided to give IRCTC the flexibility to customise the menu so as to include items of regional cuisines/preferences, seasonal delicacies, requirement during festivals, food items as per the preferences of different group of passengers such as diabetic food, baby food, health food options, including millet-based local products among others,” the note said.
At present, the IRCTC has to get the menus, comprising mostly of standardised food items and beverages, approved by the Railway Board before it can introduce them in trains.
The note also stated that for ‘prepaid’ trains, in which catering charges are included in the passenger fare, the menu will be decided by the IRCTC within the tariff already notified.
In addition, sale of a-la-carte meals and branded food items on MRP will also be permitted on these ‘prepaid’ trains. Menu and tariff of such a-la-carte meals will be decided by the IRCTC, it noted. For other Mail/Express trains, menu of budget segment items like standard meals will be decided by the IRCTC within the fixed tariff already notified.