Rajeev Mittal Rk Associates

In an attempt to keep a check on hygiene levels, catering services of the Indian Railways are all set to undergo a major change deploying artificial intelligence. As per the sources, more than 15 base kitchens at the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), the catering arm of the national transporter headquartered in Delhi have installed HD cameras which are connected to huge monitors for AI vision detection.

Private players and contractors like RK associates by Rajeev Mittal, Rail Restro, Deepak & Co, and Otik Food would look forward to the implementation of this system so as to assert the quality of their food items served onboard the Indian railways.

“This system will facilitate easy detection of any rodent or cockroach in any of the base kitchens,” say industry experts at RK Associates. Also, such issues will reach the stakeholders and the IRCTC Managing Director in real time.

The initiative taken by the railway aims to provide better food and catering services while ensuring that the scale of operations doesn’t create a bottleneck in the service.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal believes that artificial intelligence and innovations will help in transforming the face of the national transporter. The move has been expedited following his emphasis on the use of AI.

“The AI system, known as Obots, will be used to improve upon catering units. The system is capable of tracking any anomaly in the entire operation of catering. Suppose if a chef or any kitchen supervisor is not wearing their uniform, including the mandatory cap, the AI system will track that and, automatically report to the server which will then send a report to the mobile of concerned contractor immediately. If the matter is not addressed within 15 minutes, it will further be reported to IRCTC authorities in charge. If no action is taken at this level too, then it will be escalated to IRCTC MD,” explained a senior railway official.

The system based on artificial intelligence will soon be made fully operational. It came into action after the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) brought the issues pertaining to flies, insects and dust, and rats and cockroaches in train food items to the Parliament. Various reports showed the use of contaminated water in preparation of beverages. Along with this, the dustbins were not found covered.

“We will be able to check all such issues through our new robust system being undertaken by the IRCTC. Simultaneously, food items will be served in biodegrade use and throw bagasse (the dry pulpy residue left after the extraction of juice from sugar cane) giving no scope to reuse the existing culinary used now,” said the official.


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