Don’t you dare touch my Dosa!

I cannot digest this.

If Indian Railways has its way then soon idlis and dosas will be on their way out from the railway cuisine. The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC ) is planning to introduce a new system to create uniformity in its catering service across the country.

As per the plan only 21 approved food items will be served on trains – a move that South Indian rail passengers feel is in bad taste.

Never mind the polemics of choosing North Indian food over South Indian food. But this move to have a uniform menu is baffling. For starters, it’s not like the Indian Railways has a central kitchen. With local kitchens running the show – why exactly can’t the menu be varied?

Here’s the other deal. Having uniform prices is just plain strange. Price has to vary given location and competition right outside the station. Why would anyone pay 22 rupees for a “burger” in Palakkad station, when right outside you have piping hot dosas for 11 rupees? And why would the Indian Railways sell food for half the price of Haldiram’s at the Delhi Station?

But most of all, why is the Government in the business of hospitality and cuisine?

9 Comments

Filed under Governance, India

9 Responses to Don’t you dare touch my Dosa!

  1. avataram

    Why is the Government in the business of Railways?

  2. Avataram, check out the British experience of privatisation of railways. Utter chaos.
    The present team in Indian Railways seem to be doing a better job.

    J.A.P.

  3. I am baffled at the spurious conclusion that North Indian food is somehow all pervasive. Even if it is, isn’t restricting the food items to a mere ’21′ wholly stupid?

    Bah. Too many questions.

  4. avataram

    just pointing out the silliness of privatizing just the catering services, while the railways is run by the government. reminds me of the time when the GoI made a lot of noise about privatization and then sold a bakery!

    About the British experience, remember a fairly vicious accident on a Virgin train this Feb which killed just one person. See these fallen bogies and tell me how many would have died in nonchaotic India:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6391633.stm

  5. 1. Thak you. We will now make sure no trains from outside the state come into Tamil Nadu.

    2. JAP, it’s not about success or failure. Just, why? Actually, let them be. So that we can thee kulichify for the Dosai.

    3. Neha, it’s called DosaI. What’s the deal with dropping the I and N from Tamil words?

  6. avataram: I guess it’s a valid question if you start fresh with a country. But since the Government is neck deep in it right now – my guess is that the willingness to let go of it is low. Not to mention issues with pensions. But yes, it’s a valid enough question.

    J.A.P: How well the private sector does in the UK – isn’t really relevant to how well the private sector does in India – isn’t it?

    megha: I know. :(

    Nilu: It’s a communist conspiracy.

  7. Nidhi

    your post made me crave for Dosa. Gosh! now I have to find a dosa place in new york during lunch hour….

  8. Pingback: india » Blog Archive » A Taste for Food

  9. Pingback: india » Blog Archive » Kabob Palace