Vande Bharat Trains To Stop Selling Packaged Food For Six Months

In a quest by the Indian Railways to address passenger grievances related to food and hygiene on-board the Vande Bharat Express trains, the IRCTC and Centre for Railway Information Systems have been asked to work together in addressing the challenges with catering services – one of which has been the sale of pre-packaged foods by hawkers who move from one compartment to another. This has caused many passengers who pre-book lunch and dinner meals finding themselves moving in a restricted manner, while also making them uncomfortable during the course of their travels.

This unwanted congestion caused by the hawkers, along with the overstocking of food items in the passage, has been a setback for the experience travellers have been facing. In an attempt to fix the issue, a circular issued by the railways mentions that as a way of running trial, the sale of a la carte items like soft drinks, chips, bakery products and confectionery will be temporarily discontinued for a time span of six months. Among other changes that are being implemented on these trains, the ministry has also directed the IRCTC to refrain from stocking up on Rail Neer bottles for round trips, and replenish during each trip, in order to be more space-efficient.

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Passengers who book tickets can also pre-book their meals via an SMS link, 48 hours before their journey, along with vegetarian meal options being available for passengers who book meals last minute. The confirmation message on booking will also give travellers a sense of portion sizes and details of the meals that will be served to them – as a way of bringing awareness for people who pay for the food. Zonal railways have also been asked to carry out additional checks for pantry equipment before each journey, along with additional space for stacking and docking trolleys.