Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Railways
11-December-2019 16:28 IST
Clean Drinking Water

The steps taken by Railways to provide clean drinking water and quality food and catering material at stations and in trains are as follows:-

  1. For ensuring supply of clean drinking water at stations as well as in trains, Ministry of Railways has issued instructions to Zonal Railways to provide clean drinking water at railway premises by adopting “Uniform Drinking Water Quality Monitoring Protocol” issued by Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation in February’ 2013. Drinking water supplied to the railway passengers at stations through drinking water taps is suitably treated, as per requirement, before the exit point of supply. Regular tests are conducted to ensure its quality. Besides this, sale of Rail Neer (Packaged Drinking Water) has been made mandatory in all trains running with pantry cars and all static catering units at 312 stations. In case of non-mandatory units (trains/stations), Packaged Drinking Water of other approved brands is permitted for sale. Presently, approximately 9.5 lakh litres of Rail Neer (Packaged Drinking Water) is being supplied to passengers on Indian Railways per day from 11 operational plants. In addition to above, 1962 Water Vending Machines (WVMs) have been installed at 685 Railway stations across the country to provide drinking water of prescribed standards at affordable rates.
  2. Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) has installed CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) cameras in the kitchens under its management. Live streaming is available in these kitchens on IRCTC’s website and Rail-Drishti portal of Railways ( This enables close and live monitoring of the activities in the kitchens both by officials and the public.
  3. IRCTC has enabled Quick Response (QR) codes to be pasted on food casseroles at 27 Kitchens.
  4. IRCTC has upgraded 46 existing Kitchen Units during the last 02 years.
  5. Provision of E-Catering services in trains through branded players such as Dominoes, etc is being progressively increased.
  6. Certification from Designated Food Safety Officers of each Kitchen Unit has been made mandatory.
  7. Each train provided with pantry car is manned by IRCTC’s supervisors who monitor services and take feedback from passengers and take appropriate corrective action. In premium trains, catering supervisors have been provided with tablets for obtaining feedback from passengers.
  8. Food samples are randomly collected by Joint Food Safety Commissioners /Food Safety Officers/Supervisors and are sent to the nominated accredited Laboratories under Food Safety & Standard Act for analysis and testing.
  9. Food Safety Supervisors of IRCTC have been deployed at Kitchen Units.
  10. Third Party Audits are mandated in the Catering Policy and are being carried out by NABCB (National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies) accredited agencies.
  11. Customer satisfaction surveys are conducted through Third Party Agencies.
  12. Regular and surprise inspections are conducted by Railway officials including Food Safety Officers. Penalty is being imposed in cases of unsatisfactory food samples and prosecutions are being launched as per Food Safety & Standard Rule 2011.
  13. A robust system for passenger feedback and complaints exists for redressal through dedicated centralized Catering Service Monitoring Cell (CSMC) toll free number 1800-111-321, Rail Madad, Twitter handle, CPGRAMS, E-Mail and SMS based complaints.

This information was given by the Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Shri Piyush Goyal in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.