Current railway minister Suresh Prabhu revealed the Catering Policy 2017, through which the preparation and distribution of food will be delinked. The last review for the catering policy was done in 2010 by former railway minister Mamata Banerjee.
The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation has received many complaints with the quality of food served. For the sake of making improvements, there will now be four base mechanised kitchens at Nagpur, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Bombay Central and Balharshah stations. Food will be cooked in these kitchens to ensure clean and hygienic preparation. Meals will then be dispatched to mobile units, and distribution of the food will be handled by stakeholders from the hospitality industry.
To avoid overcharging on trains, the Railway Board will set standard prices for meals, which will also be displayed in train compartments as ready-to-eat meals. Food stalls will have a tenure of five years. In addition, the policy sets a 33 per cent sub quota for stalls run by women at every railway station. The policy also aims to bring big food chains into the equation.