Indian Railways will use tablets for feedback on food served in premium trains
A rant on social media may soon not be the only option for rail passengers unhappy with the food served to them on their journeys. Passengers on superfast trains such as Rajdhani and Shatabdi will soon be able to give instant feedback on a tablet
that will be passed around passengers before they get off the train.
In this, passengers will be asked to rate different aspects of the food being served - on quality, quantity, presentation, staff behaviour and overall satisfaction - on a scale of 1-5.
If the rating is three or less, the passenger would be requested to elaborate. For instance, if a passenger isn't happy with his or her meal, the person will be asked to elaborate. Was it the taste, presentation or something else?
About 100 tablets have already been passed on.
The instant feedback system was tried on the Ahmedabad-Delhi Rajdhani on Saturday. Over the next few weeks, on-board supervisors of the railway's catering subsidiary, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation, or IRCTC will move around other premium trains as well before the system is formally launched on the Mumbai Rajdhani, said IRCTC's Pinakin Morawala.
"This will help us be more specific with the redress of complaints and suggestions. We will be able to gauge customer satisfaction as well as grade the suggestions," Mr Morawala said, according to news agency Press Trust of India.
The IRCTC has the catering contract for 40 trains including the Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi.
"As of now, we are targeting 10 per cent of passengers in a train for feedback. Eventually we could raise our target," the official said.
Passengers will get a confirmation message on their mobile phones so that no one else can manipulate the feedback system.
Officials said since a large number of passengers on a particular train would be reporting their experience. The numbers would even out biases that otherwise get highlighted. It would also make it easier for supervisors to narrow down a problem area. Or let them know what clicked with passengers.The initiative comes weeks after the country's top auditor,
Comptroller and Auditor General came down heavily on the Railways saying that cleanliness and hygiene was not maintained in catering units at stations, and in trains, foodstuff unsuitable for human consumption had been served.