Now, train journey set to become sweeter for diabetic patients

Train journeys have just become sweeter for diabetics.

The initiative of the Indian Railways to serve diabetic meals on board has become popular across the country prompting most diabetics not to carry their own food.

“We are accepting a huge number of orders from diabetics across all trains that have pantry cars. Response in indeed pretty good on Rajdhanis, Satabdis and Durontos where meal service on board is mandatory,” said an Eastern Railway spokesperson.

The railway authorities planned to introduce special diet for diabetic passengers on recommendation of the Passenger Services Committee (PSC), headed by Derek O’ Brian, which was formed when Mamata Banerjee was railway minister.

“Apart from normal meals, diabetics also get the option of choosing tailor-made snacks. In fact, they get a spread of diabetic continental dishes on board Rajdhani, Satabdi and Duronto.

Passengers only need to inform what they want to have when the pantry superintendent comes to take the order,” the spokesperson added.

India is reckoned to be the diabetes capital of the world with an estimated 50.8 million diabetics, more than the entire population of Spain.

“We are very careful about diabetic food and are carrying raw vegetables and ingredients ideal for diabetic patients on every pantry car. In fact, quantity of food consumed is very important for a diabetic patient and we give special attention on serving the exact quantity. Such services are also popular in South-bound trains of South Eastern railways that carry a huge number of patients,” said a senior IRCTC official.

There is huge variety of sugar-free food available on board.

At present, the railway officials are providing passengers with sugar-free juice, tea, coffee and boiled vegetarian and non-vegetarian food.

Besides, they are serving cholesterol-free food items for heart patients like fruits, vegetables, legumes and low-spice food prepared with salt and pepper.

For breakfast, they are also providing cholesterol-free butter.

“For years, I had to carry my own meals with me. There were occasions when I found that meals had turned stale by the time I wanted to have them. Now, I can have fresh prepared food on board,” said Sabita Choudhury a diabetic patient.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/Kolkata/Now-train-journey-set-to-become-sweeter-for-diabetic-patients/Article1-1123141.aspx

Published in: on September 17, 2013 at 4:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Pantry cars to be modified, better food on trains soon

The quality of food served on trains is a major concern for many passengers. But that is about to change, at least for those travelling on the mail and express trains of the South Eastern Railways (SER). They can now expect more hygienic and fresh meals.

RAMKRISHNA SAMANTA OP Chaube, assistant general manager and chief mechanical engineer, checks out the pantry car which has been modified and renovated by South Eastern Railways.

This is because the SER officials have decided to modify the pantry cars with state-of-the art facilities that would eliminate dust particles and keep the raw materials and meals fresh. For starters, the modifications have been made in one car. If the railway board is satisfied, the others would also be modified.

“This car has a ventilation and illumination system that would block dust ingress in cooking areas. It has a gradient floor with a central drain channel to avoid waterlogging and a wide clean area for serving food and dispersal of services,” said OP Chaube, the additional general manager and chief mechanical engineer of SER.

The modifications will cost SER R43.40 lakh per coach. Sources said the modifications are essential, especially on trains passing through the SER zone of railways. Several trains in this zone go to Chennai and Vellore and carry a substantial amount of patients – hence the emphasis on good, hygienic food.

Besides, the pantry car also has an EMU coach with polycarbonated seats that would give better comfort to passengers. This coach has stainless steel handles, partitions and luggage racks. The cost of renovation is R8.77 lakh per coach and SER has 338 such coaches.

SER has also modified a secondclassco a chused as an un reserved compartment in mail and express trains. The coach has a stainless steel ceiling, anti-slip Epoxy flooring in toilets to stop waterlogging and full-length compreg on luggage rack. It cost SER R3.96 lakh per coach. If the railway board approves, the changes would be made in 650 such coaches.

http://paper.hindustantimes.com/epaper/viewer.aspx

Published in: on July 3, 2013 at 2:33 am  Comments (1)  
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Indian Railways planning to replace pantry cars with base kitchens

Indian Railways are looking to avoid cooking arrangements in pantry cars and setting up 250 base kitchens across the country to prepare about six lakh meals and snacks per day. The move is in a bid to ensure food is fresh and of high quality. In this regard, the Railways are working out base kitchens at all major stations, including New Delhi, Nizamuddin, Old Delhi, Howrah, Patna, Mumbai, and Bhubaneswar, and other originating stations and junctions where meals will be prepared in hygienic conditions, sources said.

The base kitchens will be set up on railway land near the stations. The Railways will give land at a nominal fee of Re one per sq ft to caterers for setting up base kitchens. The total volume of food business in the Railways is estimated to be around Rs 2,000 crore a year. For now, Railways are finalising a common bidding format across the country for providing branded food items. It will empanel brands for certain items and make it mandatory for caterers to invest in base kitchens. The bidding norms have provisions to prevent only a few catering firms from cornering a large share of business. The bidding in catering service is expected to begin by May this year, according to the source.

On similar lines, “Pantry cars in trains will only store food and completely abandon the concept of cooking meals and snacks. All of these will be prepared from the base kitchens,” the source said. Beverages like tea, coffee and milk will be prepared in trains.

http://www.hospitalitybizindia.com/detailNews.aspx?aid=15781&sid=23

Published in: on January 31, 2013 at 5:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Railways plan to do away with pantry cars aboard trains

The Indian Railways are planning to do away with cooking arrangements in pantry cars and instead aiming setting up 250 base kitchens across the country to prepare about six lakh meals and snacks a day.

The base kitchens, proposed to be set up at all major stations, including New Delhi, Nizamuddin, Old Delhi, Howrah, Patna, Mumbai, Bhubaneswar and other originating stations and junctions, will prepare the meals in hygenic conditions, said a senior railway ministry official involved with catering service.

“Pantry cars in trains will be no longer used for preparing foods but for storing meals and snacks prepared in the base kitchens,” the official said, adding that “Only hot beverages like tea, coffee and soup will be prepared in pantry cars.”

There are 302 mail and express trains having pantry cars for preparing and serving food to onboard passengers. Currently, the Railways provide about six lakh meals and snacks a day, including the 91,000 meals being served in Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi trains.

“The aim is to provide quality, hygienic food to the passengers,” he said, and added, “The base kitchens will be set up on railway land near the stations.” The Railway will give land at a nominal fee of Rs1 per sq feet to caterers for setting up the base kitchens.

The total volume of food business in the Railways is estimated to be around Rs 2000 crore a year.

Meanwhile, the Railways are finalising a common bidding format across the country for providing branded food items.

The national transporter will empanel brands for certain items and make it mandatory for caterers to invest in base kitchens.

The bidding norms have provisions to prevent only a few catering firms from cornering a large share of business.

The bidding in catering service is expected to begin by May this year.
http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_railways-plan-to-do-away-with-pantry-cars-aboard-trains_1792636

Break-down trains to be kept ready for fire emergencies

In the wake of spurt in cases of trains catching fire, the railways has decided to equip its break-down trains with fire-fighting equipment to meet emergency situations before fire tenders from Department of Fire and Emergency Services reach accident spots.

This plan is likely to be put into operation within eight months, and the railways is working out the cost of equipment and procurement procedure. According to officials, break-down trains will be fitted with four to five pumps, will have arrangements to store sufficient water and long pipes, and they will be stationed at important railway stations.

At present, five kg portable fire extinguishers are available in air-conditioned coaches, guards’ cabins, pantry cars and with locomotive pilots. Normally, each train will have at least 8-10 portable fire extinguishers to douse small-scale fires. But, they may not be effective if there is a major accident such as the one that occurred near Nellore on Monday.

Earlier, the railways had a separate fire service at all important stations. However, it was dismantled 10 years ago following directions from Railway Board which cited cost factor.

Since then, the railways is depending on respective state fire and emergency services department for assistance during emergencies. About the fire safety measures at Bangalore Railway Station, A K Agarwal, Divisional Railway Manager, Bangalore, said the station was fully equipped with fire safety measures to deal with any eventuality. All departments in administrative block had portable fire extinguishers, but they were depending on the state Department of Fire and Emergency Services to put out major fire, he said.

Agarwal said every platform had pipeline with round-the-clock water supply. Fire alarms were installed on all platforms to alert passengers of any emergency, and staff were available all the time to evacuate stranded passengers, he added.

The DRM said fire tenders hardly require five minutes to reach the administrative block and platforms from the fire station on Seshadri Road. Since all the roads around the station were busy all the time, there was a special entrance from the cargo section for easy accessibility to all platforms, he added.

http://newindianexpress.com/states/karnataka/article580694.ece

Pantry Cars in Long Distance Passenger Trains

Presently, 316 pairs of Express trains are scheduled to run for more than 24 hours on various routes in the country. Attachment of pantry cars to the trains is based on various factors such as operational feasibility, priority of the train, journey time, commercial justification, availability of pantry cars, load of the train, etc. among others. As per the new Catering Policy 2010, the priority for allotment of pantry cars is premier, superfast and mail/express trains with running time more than 24 hours each way and trains provided with vestibuled coaches.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways, Shri E. Ahamed in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.

http://www.pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=67639&kwd=