Tuesday, August 18, 2009


The new Railway Minister in GOI seems to be bent on 'nationalizing' food service to the traveling public who has no choice but to use trains for mobility within the country. According to her quality of food served is low because private caterers are not caring enough for the passengers and she seems to have conviction that in-house catering could do a much better job. Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Development Corporation, under the Railway Board is already involved in catering while departmental catering is also provides same service in some trains. If one goes by the experience of the past, there is nothing to cheer about the prospects of better service through in-house catering. The latest decision by IR to give priority to food quality implies that quality was never considered important in the past! The report below can only mean that:

'In a bid to improve the quality of food served on trains, the Indian railways has decided to give priority to the food quality checking drive and as such the new additional responsibility was given to the chief commercial managers of various zones".

How outlandish the report is may be gauged from the assertion that no less than the Chief Commercial Manager of the concerned Railway Zone himself would attend to complaints from the passengers! To add insult to injury, only private caterers would come under surveillance and in-house catered foods can be of any quality with no one being held responsible! It is sad that we never learn from our past failures and short span of human memory allows leaders like the present minister to indulge in such impractical and impulsive decisions. The theory, as being propounded by IR that private caterers do not bother about quality and are obsessed with profits, is pregnant with lot of ramifications. Probably if one goes by such a philosophy, GOI will have to step into every venture in the country under the pretext of safeguarding the common man!

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