Improvement in Railways’ Catering Services


Improvement in Railways’ Catering Services

Due to intensive monitoring and supervision of Railways, the number of complaints reported in catering have reduced substantially by 48 per cent since September 2010 upto July 2011, in comparison to the corresponding period of last year after the transfer of catering activities to Zonal Railways from Indian Railways Catering and Tourism (IRCTC). During this period, about 24164 inspections have been carried out by Zonal Railways for the improvement of catering services. 

A system is in place on the Zonal Railways in which the Supervisors and officers periodically inspect the catering establishments, and also interact with the passengers on the trains to obtain a first hand knowledge of deficiencies observed with feed back from passengers. Zonal Railways proactively take corrective action on the deficiencies and irregularities found during inspections. For providing hot and fresh food in important trains like Rajdhani/Duronto Express train, a pantry car is attached to the train which has the facility to keep food fresh through deep freeze/refrigeration equipment, and to serve food hot they have food warmers and hot cases. This facility is also available in the pantry cars attached to a few important Mail/Express train. 

For other trains, Train Side Vending (TSV) facility is being gradually extended to provide satisfactory catering service to passengers. Policy guidelines for the arrangement for TSV to provide good quality hygienic food to passengers in the trains, in which pantry cars are not provided, have been issued to the Zonal Railways. Railways have also planned to construct and operate base kitchens at nominated points to provide hot and fresh food to the passengers. 

This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Bharatsinh Solanki in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today. 

Anganwadi Workers Training Centres


Anganwadi Workers Training Centres

There are a total of 498 AWTCs operational as on 30 June 2011 in States/UTs. The Minister of State (I/C) for Women & Child Development Smt. Krishna Tirath revealed in Lok Sabha today that two proposals to open 10 new AWTCs - 6 in Assam and 4 in Jharkhand, have been received in May, 2011. 

In reply to a question she said that the number of Anganwadi Workers to be trained every year is proposed by the States/UTs in their Annual State Training Action Plans (STRAPs). During the current financial year, 2,87,778 Anganwadi Workers and 2,18,098 Anganwadi Helpers are proposed to be trained through the existing AWTCs. 

The Minister stated that in order to ensure effective functioning of the AWTCs, regular visits are made by the State Government officials as well as the faculty from the National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development (NIPCCD) to monitor and inspect these centres. Also, State Governments undertake periodic review meetings with the AWTCs to review the progress of the training courses against the targets approved under the STRAPs. 

Railways take Steps to Prevent Misuse of Tatkal Scheme


Railways take Steps to Prevent Misuse of Tatkal Scheme

With a view to reduce the scope for misuse of Tatkal scheme, the following steps have been taken:- 

i) Access to Tatkal booking on all days and normal booking on the opening g day of reservation through e-tickets by the Travel Agents/Web-service agents/Web Agents of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has been disabled between 0800 a.m. and 09.00 a.m. 

ii) It has been made mandatory to produce any one of the prescribed identity cards (in original) during the journey by any one of the passengers booked on a Tatkal ticket. 

iii) Instructions have also been issued that Senior Divisional Commercial Managers/Divisional Commercial Managers should conduct regular inspections of Reservation offices and also personally inspect passenger Reservation System (PRS) offices during the opening hours and take immediate steps to check the routing activities. 

In addition, the following two safeguards already exist in the Tatkal Scheme:- 

Tatkal Refund Rules are stringent to reduce chances of its misuse

. • Change of name facility is not available under the Scheme. 

This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Bharatsinh Solanki in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today. 
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