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Provide better 'meals on wheels' onboard Indian railways trains
With over a million employees, the Indian railways is the biggest employer in the country. The Indian Railways is also one of the largest railway networks in the world. In the recent times, there have been significant changes in the Indian Railways with the introduction of many new trains of higher quality, the most recent being the Tejas Express.

But, since its inception, there have been very few instances when the railways has actually made profit. Which is surprising considering our huge population and its dependence on railways. One can say that this is due to gross mismanagement of the government and negligence of small things which matter. One such thing is the food served in trains.

The food in the railways is so bad that people use it as a reference for bad food or food that is unfit for human consumption in general. The food served by railways is neither tasty nor healthy. Add to this, the unhygienic conditions of the pantry cars in the trains. If you ever take a stroll down the pantry car of a train you'll notice the sheer negligence observed by the railways workers towards hygiene and cleanliness. All these factors have affected the sale of food items in trains which could actually have been a great source of income.

The second reason due to which the passengers refrain from buying food on trains is the price ambiguity. Though, the railways have a menu with its uniform fixed prices, the passengers are hardly aware about it. Also, these prices are rarely followed as the attendants hike up the price as per their will. Value for money is one thing Indians look for the most before buying anything and the railways in no way fits that criterion. The railways needs to realise that providing good quality food is not only ethically right but also makes good business sense, and if it will provide good food, the passengers would definately buy it.

Due to the railways food not being good, passengers prefer to bring along their food from home, usually wrapped in old newspapers or aluminum foil, the packaging of which they casually throw around the train, hampering the cleanliness in trains. Providing good food will help curb this problem to some extent. It would also save the passengers from the hassle of carrying food with themselves while travelling.

Other than the monetary benefit, providing good food will do a world of good to the reputation of Indian Railways. And for good business, goodwill is of prime most importance. Although, the profit earned through food may not be that significant but it would surely boost the travel experience of passengers.

Lately, the railways have also been facing tough competition with the emergence of budget airlines which offer fares at par with luxury trains, hence, the number of railway passengers switching over to air travel is likely to rise in the coming years, especially if poor catering services onboard trains continue.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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