Inundated with complaints about poor quality food in trains, Railway Board chairman A K Mittal’s patience seemed to tip over as he advised passengers to carry home-cooked food instead of depending on the pantry in trains.

“Carry home-cooked food as quality-wise there is no alternative of such food,” Mittal advised passengers when his attention was drawn towards increasing complaints regarding the quality of food being catered on trains and the recent recovery of a lizard in meal served on board Poorva Express to a passenger.

He said, “We are aware about the problems being faced by the passengers due to compromises being made by the contractors with quality of food. Railway is facing a serious challenge in catering food to about 15 lakh passengers in trains per day.”

To solve this problem and ensure availability of quality food, he said, the railway is preparing its base kitchens, which will become operational within a year. Also, major focus is on promotion of e-catering, he said adding, passengers are being encouraged to order for food through e-catering portal.

About the problem of delayed movement of trains Mittal said that project to create the freight corridor is in progress. Major part of this project on Delhi-Varanasi-Howrah route is expected to complete within a year. With the completion of this project the problem would be solved as the load on existing tracks, which are overloaded due to operation of both passenger and goods trains, would reduce.