Indian Railways has always been on the receiving end of criticism for its food catering services. The food hygiene and safety woes continue to trouble the government-owned monopoly. Now with the help of artificial intelligence, these problems will come to a halt, thanks to the transition it aims to bring about in trains. AI will transform the way food is prepared in the trains’ kitchens and pantries. Along with revamping food menu in trains, its catering arm Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is also promoting a greener environment with its biodegradable and environment-friendly food containers.
The AI project has already been kick-started at the IRCTC headquarters. The facility has installed 16 high-definition cameras which are linked to large monitors for AI vision detection. Pests in these facility will be detected instantly, and the report of these instances will be notified to higher authorities with top priority.
A senior railway official at IRCTC said, “The AI system, known as Wobot, 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 be will escalated to IRCTC MD”.
This AI system will be implemented across all the IRCTC units in the coming days. Indian Railways has faced backlash from the public with many terrible, unhygienic incidents occurring in trains in the past few days. With the help of AI system in place, it hopes to eliminate all the malign practices in the food department. In addition, it has geared up to provide longer serving timings to the comfort of passengers.
Last month, Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Railways and Coal had said that AI would be used as a “tool” for the betterment of services. “AI can transform Indian Railways in terms of safety, passenger amenities, better revenues, growth and efficiency,” he had said. Goyal’s statement, “AI has to be harnessed to find digital innovations for better customer interface and better service delivery. AI is about creating trains with brains,” was met with critical acclaim.