TEJAS EXPRESS WAS LAUNCHED AS INDIA’S FIRST SEMI HIGH-SPEED FULL AC TRAIN THAT HAS HIT QUITE A few BUMPS ON ITS TRACKS WHEN IT RECORDED A RISE IN NUMBER OF PEOPLE OPTING NOT TO EAT THE FOOD SERVED BY THE TRAIN PANTRY. DESPITE BEING NAMED AS A LUXURY TRAIN PEOPLE HAVE TRUST ISSUES WITH THE PANTRY JUST LIKE THEY HAVE WITH THE POLITICIANS OF OUR COUNTRY DESPITE HOW PROMISING IT HAS BEEN PRESENTED.
The issue of concern here is why are people opting not to eat meals onboard the train of The Tejas Express, which is a premium train from Mumbai to Karmali in Goa? Well, the simple answer to this is, the several complaints about the food quality which is not good for the consumption, despite several attempts of the Indian Rail Catering and Tourism Corporation to change the menu.
The study was based on the figures found from increasing number of passengers opting not to eat the food served onboard the premium luxury train especially since the Railway made it an optional add-on payable service. IRCTC tried adding modaks as treat for Ganeshutsav, However, official figures received from the Railways indicate that though the majority of passengers do eat the offered meals during the nine-hour journey in monsoon, the number of those opting out of the meal is growing. While June and July recorded close to 16 per cent of total passengers not opting for meals, the percentage has increased to 20 in August.
Many passengers blame it on the negative image built around the railway food which reportedly had an incident wherein they found a lizard in the biryani, which caused the people to be very cautious about eating from the train pantries.
Many of the passengers suggested that they should wear gloves while serving food, have frequent schedules of pest control in the pantry cars, and food stock should be freshly brought every day. The passengers believe that in a train like Tejas that’s promoted as luxury train people will prefer quality over cost.
Since August, passengers on premium trains such as the Rajdhani and Shatabdi have been offered the option of not excluding the meals. “We are aiming at hiring a new contractor after monsoon for serving food on Tejas. We have introduced more options in the menu and ensured care is taken in its service so that passengers are happy with the food served,” a senior IRCTC official said.
“The railways have now offered them a choice. Other passengers have a choice to book e-catering services from famous food outlets from our website or booking application. A good share of passengers does prefer to eat pantry served food when inside the train as the same is required in a long journey,” the official added.
Do you prefer carrying home cooked meal or buying from the pantry? What is your opinion on this issue?