IRCTC takes over catering in Karnataka Express

This is the first train under the South Western Railway Division, where IRCTC has directly taken charge of catering.
Due to repeated complaints regarding the poor quality of food served in the train and the impolite behaviour by catering staff, the contract awarded to the franchisee of the superfast train plying between Bangalore and New Delhi was terminated by IRCTC eight months ago. Temporary licencees were permitted to offer their services till the corporation decided to render the services on its own.

This is possible due to base kitchens available on platforms along this route, said Chief Regional Manager of ITCTC’s SWR division, S Gagarin. IRCTC staff will serve fresh meals collected from these stations when the train proceeds towards New Delhi- lunch at Daund station, dinner at Bhusawal or Khandwa station. In the return direction, lunch will be collected from Khandwa or Bhusawal station, and dinner from Ahmadnagar or Daund station. 

“Though it may not turn out to be very profitable for us, it is being done to provide better service to passengers and better quality food. The cost of meals will remain the same,” Gagarin said. “The move is also aimed at issuing a warning to other franchisees that IRCTC has the capability of stepping in if the quality of food and service is not improved,” he added.

IRCTC has taken charge of only four other trains in the country, spread across different railway divisions, to improve catering. They are the Kerala Express (Trivandrum to New Delhi), Farakka Express (Calcutta to New Delhi), Amritsar-Kochuveli Express and Thirukural Express (Kanyakumari to Hazrat Nizammudin). “This has been done by IRCTC only during the last two months,” Gagarin added.
There are no plans presently to take over the catering in other trains in the SWR Division, the CRM informed.

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