Indian Railways to monitor kitchens with AI-controlled cameras

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has implemented a software solution to monitor all 16 base kitchens that supply food for trains run by Indian Railways.

IRCTC is a subsidiary of Indian Railways. It and the contractors it hires have come under fire often over the quality of food and service they deliver.

The software solution, which is powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI), is aimed at helping IRCTC monitor kitchen conditions.

With it, IRCTC will look to improve the hygiene and the quality of the food made at its base kitchens.

IRCTC currently has 16 base kitchens across India. These are located at major stations across the country. With these in place, IRCTC has had to rely less on the use of pantry cars to make food on the go for passengers.

In picture: MT M Jamshed visited the first surveillance-oriented Intelligent kitchen control room of IRCTC set up in New Delhi for effective and live monitoring of base kitchens located around the country. Picture credit: Twitter/RailMinIndia

Indian Railways monitoring base kitchens from Delhi

All 16 base kitchens across India have been connected using a software called WOBOT. The software apparently captures visuals from cameras at this kitchens and displays them at the IRCTC headquarters in Delhi.

The software is programmed so that its AI component monitors the feeds of all 16 cameras for any anomaly. These may include the presence of insects or rodents in the kitchen, which are a strict no-no.

The software will also monitor whether the IRCTC employees in these kitchens are wearing the right uniform or gear.

In picture: MT M Jamshed visited the first surveillance-oriented Intelligent kitchen control room of IRCTC set up in New Delhi for effective and live monitoring of base kitchens located around the country. Picture credit: Twitter/RailMinIndia

In case it detects an anomaly in a kitchen, the system will immediately alert the IRCTC officials concerned. It will also open a “ticket” for the anomaly.

The IRCTC official will subsequently give the contractor in charge of the kitchen some time to rectify the mistake.

“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 be escalated to IRCTC MD (managing director),” the Pioneer quoted a senior railway official as saying.

The MD may then take any action necessary, including cancelling the contractor’s licence.

In picture: MT M Jamshed visited the first surveillance-oriented Intelligent kitchen control room of IRCTC set up in New Delhi for effective and live monitoring of base kitchens located around the country. Picture credit: Twitter/RailMinIndia

Numerous complaints

IRCTC is taking these steps in light of the numerous complaints against it and its licensed contractors.

In a recent incident, a viral video apparently showed two employees of a licensed IRCTC contractor using water from lavatories to make tea.

Watch the video here:

Indian Railways said in a statement after the viral video was brought to its notice: “The incident has occurred in Train No 12759 Chennai Central-Hyderabad Charminar Express at Secunderabad Railway Station in the month of December 2017. An inquiry has been held to identify the wrongdoers and initiate appropriate action.”

It added: “On the basis of the inquiry, stringent action has been taken up against the train-side vending contractor for the section between Secunderabad and Kazipet, P Siva Prasad, with whom the identified vendor in the video was employed.”

It also said: “A penalty of Rs 1 lakh has been levied on the licensee, through IRCTC, the contracting agency.”

Read the full statement here:

News Reporter
A journalist by profession and a foodie by passion.

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