If Indian Railways has its way then soon idlis and dosas will be on their way out from the railway cuisine. The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC ) is planning to introduce a new system to create uniformity in its catering service across the country.
As per the plan only 21 approved food items will be served on trains – a move that South Indian rail passengers feel is in bad taste.
Never mind the polemics of choosing North Indian food over South Indian food. But this move to have a uniform menu is baffling. For starters, it’s not like the Indian Railways has a central kitchen. With local kitchens running the show – why exactly can’t the menu be varied?
Here’s the other deal. Having uniform prices is just plain strange. Price has to vary given location and competition right outside the station. Why would anyone pay 22 rupees for a “burger” in Palakkad station, when right outside you have piping hot dosas for 11 rupees? And why would the Indian Railways sell food for half the price of Haldiram’s at the Delhi Station?
But most of all, why is the Government in the business of hospitality and cuisine?