The Consultative Committee of Members of Parliament for the Ministry of Railways on Thursday resolved to upgrade 1,275 railway stations under Amrit Bharat Station. The decision was taken at a meeting in New Delhi.
According to an official statement, the Members of Parliament for the Ministry of Railways planned services on Indian Railways with an agenda to cater to services on Indian Railways and induce station development on Indian Railways under the Amrit Bharat Station Scheme.
It added that the meeting was chaired by Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and attended by several MPs.
As per the statement, the members were informed that approximately 1.8 crore passengers travel daily on Indian Railways and that all efforts were being made to ensure the provision and availability of adequate catering facilities in trains and stations for the travelling passengers.
It added that Railways had not only undertaken an in-depth analysis of catering services but had also initiated structural reforms to bring in a paradigm shift in the catering business in the last few years.
The statement also said the catering services were given to passengers through either static or mobile units, adding that there were 473 pairs of trains with pantry cars/mini pantries and 706 pairs of trains with a train-side vending facility.
It added that there were 9,342 minor and 582 Major Static units of Indian Railways which included the Jan Aahaars outlets, Food Plazas and Refreshment Rooms.
“Indian Railways has a catering policy, with the objective of providing quality food to rail passengers by unbundling catering services of trains and creating a primary distinction between food preparation and food distribution,” it said.
It added that the ministry had given IRCTC flexibility to customise and decide the menu of catering services in trains so as to include all items of regional cuisine, seasonal delicacies, and food items as per the preferences of different groups of passengers. E-catering scheme has also been introduced on Indian railways.
It also said that cashless transaction facilities were provided on both mobile and static catering units and that the third-Party Audit of catering services was also undertaken to ensure quality and service standards.
It added that frequent and unannounced inspections were used to monitor and control the catering services.
It said three stations — Rani Kamlapati in Madhya Pradesh, Gandhinagar in Gujarat, and Sir M Vishweshwaraiah Railway Station in Karnataka — have been modernised so far.
“Based on the experience gained from these three stations, the Amrit Bharat Station scheme was launched for the development of stations on Indian Railways. This scheme envisages the development of stations on a continuous basis with a long-term approach,” it added.
This report is filed by ANI news service.