Indian Railways will allow Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to set up stalls and sell food on railway station platforms, a move that will come as a massive relief for passengers who often find it difficult to purchase good quality food on platforms of major and intermediate stations, reports The Financial Express (FE).
Earlier, stalls situated in the concourse area of railway stations were not allowed to sell food on platforms. According to FE, a circular issued by the Railway Board says, “zonal railways would be empowered to permit platform vending at stations depending on the local requirements of catering services for passengers.”
Since the unveiling of the new Catering Policy of 2017, Indian Railways has been working to improve the quality of food on its trains and platforms. A slew of reforms had been introduced in IRCTC such as the installation of high-definition CCTV cameras in its kitchens to monitor the quality of food being supplied on trains. Cameras that are linked to an artificial intelligence-based system helps in identifying anomalies in the kitchen such as the presence of rodents, lizards and insects. A ticket would then be generated by the system, which will be addressed in a time-bound manner.
Union Minister for Railways, Piyush Goyal, had earlier urged passengers not to pay for the food in the absence of a bill from the vendor. IRCTC is also planning to employ PoS (Point-of-Sale) machines for payments. Both steps are expected to bring down the menace of overcharging by vendors.
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