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Quality of food items served inside trains by Indian Railways reaches a new low: Feels passengers
A conversation with passengers of premium trains in Lucknow has revealed that they were deeply dissatisfied with the quality of food served to them on board during their journeys.
Even after witnessing a hike in rates of food articles served in the trains of the Indian Railways the passengers are not sure whether to consume those food items or not. They are just not able to accept the quality of food due to several reasons.

Passengers pay almost double the amount than the price mentioned in the menu but still do not get fresh and healthy food items. The food served is "stale, tasteless and of poor quality and cleanliness is hardly taken care of."

While speaking to this Citizen Journalist (Anita Shukla) passengers of different trains, including New Delhi- Lucknow Swarn Shatabdi, Rajdhani and Neelanchal Express, expressed their dissatisfaction over the catering services of the railways. Most of the passengers said that the food provided is hardly of good quality. It is served in unhygienic conditions and one has chances of falling ill, if he or she is not careful enough.

"Some food items in the menu are of very inferior quality. Last time one of my friends fell ill after consuming food prepared by them. After looking at the dish in which the food was served, even I decided to skip my meal", said Archana Pradhan, a student who arrived at Lucknow by Swarna Shatabdi on Thursday.

Another passenger of the same train, Bina, said, "I thought of drinking butter milk which was available in the menu. However, I dropped the idea after it was handed over to me as it had a very strong smell."

There are no options for passengers while deciding what to eat. Either they consume the food that is provided or skip it and remain hungry throughout the journey.

"There is no scope for travellers, who want to eat food without onion as the menu is the same for all whether one can eat it or not. As I do not consume food with onion, I had to skip meal and other snacks provided in the train, even after paying for these" said Ravinder, a housewife travelling in the Neelanchal Express.

Another passenger SK Mishra said, "I work abroad and have travelled by train after a long time. Condition of food service in trains is pathetic. The food that was served in Swarn Shatabdi train did not look healthy. At the same time hygiene and cleanliness were not paid attention to as the floors and washrooms were also in an unhygienic condition. In this situation, what is the condition of the pantry car and the food prepared there can be any body's guess".

With public attention having been focused recently on the condition of food served inside trains, many passengers have reverted to the old trend of carrying home made food during their journey. They feel that it is better to be safe than suffer.

"After reading news about dirty condition of pantries and bad quality of food provided in premium trains, I have become all the more conscious about food items served in trains. Every time I travel, I carry home made food. It is better to take care and avoid harm that can be caused by consuming food prepared in dirty conditions or stale food which is served by the caterers," said Smriti Sharma, a regular passenger.

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