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.

Published in: on September 17, 2013 at 4:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Now pizza to be delivered to passengers on train journey

Now book your pizza or pasta through Internet before boarding a train and food will be delivered at your seat during the journey.

Much to the delight of train passengers, the Railway Ministry has decided to launch a pilot project of booking meals through Internet in selected trains on Delhi-Jammu and Delhi-Amritsar route.

“We are trying to provide a variety of meals to passengers during train journey and for this we will soon be having an arrangement with some popular food chains,” said a senior Railway Ministry official involved with the project.

As per the proposal, a passenger will be offered to book his meal by giving his name, coach and berth number of the train on an Internet booking site and the food will be delivered at his seat at a particular station.

“There will be choices like biryani, pizza, pasta, burger and sandwiches among others which are otherwise not available in pantry cars of trains. Some reputed food outlets will be roped in to cater to the demands of passengers,” said the official, adding “payment will be made after delivery of food.”

However, the official clarified that the service is not meant for Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi because the fares include the food served in these trains. A meeting was held at Rail Bhawan last week with officials of CRIS and IRCTC to explore the possibility of booking meals through Internet.

It was decided at the meeting that a pilot project for booking meals through Internet would be launched on a few selected trains on Delhi-Jammu and Delhi-Amritsar routes to begin with, said the official.

The official further said that a decision will be taken shortly whether to create a new site or to provide a separate link on the existing ticket booking site of the IRCTC for it. A supplier agency will also be selected for providing delivery service on trains through a bidding process.

Currently about 10 lakh passengers avail catering facility daily at stations and trains, while 302 Mail and Express trains have pantry cars.

Shatabdi is the heart of Indian railways

One of the best ways to see India is to undertake a train journey, and the Shatabdi Express – the heart of Indian railways – is one such rail network that offers one of the best options for domestic travellers, says travel guide book Lonely Planet.

After enabling curious Indian travellers to experience the world via outbound travel guides specifically designed for Indian travellers last year, Lonely Planet is exploring the domestic Indian market with its new series of ‘pocket travel guides’.

The first in the series of pocket books titled, “Holidays by Shatabdi” was recently launched in the capital as a guide to destinations easily reachable by Shatabdi from Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai being next in the series.

“After the launch of our Lonely Planet for the Indian Traveller series last year and Short Escapes travel guides series in March 2013, we decided to tap those tourists who use the services of Shatabdi Express to travel to destinations in the sub-continent,” says Sesh Sheshadri, General Manager, Lonely Planet India.

“Shatabdi Express being one of the most popular trains in this genre was first on our mind when we decided to come out with a guide for train travellers.’Holidays by Shatabdi’ enables travellers to make the most of their trips by visiting destinations near the city. The first in the series is for travellers who board Shatabdi from Delhi,” he added.

Also on the agenda are a set of books that can take the cinema loving tourist to places inside the country that have a Bollywood connection.

“The ‘Bollywood Escape’ series will focus on places which are known for some bollywood connection, be it a shooting spot for any movie or something other,” Sheshadri told PTI.

According to him, whenever we think about luxury travelling from Indian railways the international tourists zero down on options like Deccan Queen, Maharaja Express or Palace on wheels.

“But we cannot ignore the domestic travellers for whom Shatabdi can also be an option for luxury and comfortable travelling, ” he said adding, “the domestic market is much bigger considering the number of Indian rail travellers every year and hence our effort is to provide the travellers, the benefit of travelling with authentic information.

The guide being pocket size is a quick read for anyone on the go and enables travellers to make the most of their time by exploring destinations close to Delhi. The travel guide lists all the must see tourist destinations with comprehensive details about places to stay, food, and shopping.

Priced at Rs. 140 each, the guide also features value-for-money suggestions for travellers along with expert travel tips and advice. It gives a detailed picture of fun filled activities for all interests and age groups.

Compiled by a team of five travel writers including Juhi Saklani, Karuna Ezara Parikh, Parvati Sharma, Puneetinder Kaur Sindhu and Sarah Islam, the guides are produced in full colour and packed with photographs to inspire the readers to pack up their bags and board Shatabdi.