New Delhi,28/11/18:It refers to media-reports that first engine-less train in India to be introduced as a prime train on a prime route will have option to have tickets without food-cost also. But such a system already introduced in Rajdhani Express should be in all trains including Shatabdi and Duranto where food-cost is compulsorily charged with ticket-cost. Most domestic airlines have already replaced food-serving by selling variety of packaged food-items according to choice of passengers.
Compulsory charging of food-cost in rail-tickets unnecessarily penalizes those who do not wish to avail train-food due to various reasons including peculiar food-choice like without onion and garlic or not taking sweet-dish for being diabetic etc, It may be recalled that optional sweet dish of hot Gulab-Jamun was decided in place of usual Ice-Cream in case passenger does not want to take Ice-cream due to conditions like weather, liking, suitability etc. Move was aimed to prevent left-out packed Ice-cream cups being kept by serving-staff. It is a usual practice that serving staff earns money by selling such unused packed food-items left by passengers to others desiring extra either at cost or by way of tips.
Best is to start selling packaged branded food by giving some sale-commission to serving-staff, eliminating begging tips by serving-staff. Scope of Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation Limited IRCTC should be increased for manufacturing bakery-items and other such items by setting manufacturing-units in different parts of country. One-time planned investment will create huge employment-opportunities and increased revenue-earnings for Indian Railways. Rather IRCTC then can take charge of mid-day-meal in schools where complaints of inferior food and finding dead insects, rats, lizards etc are quite common.