In the wake of the unsavory row created by Shiv Sena MPs in Maharashtra Sadan and thereafter the furore over bad quality food being served in Parliament canteen, three top private caterers have been roped in to provide quality food to MPs.
"We have written a letter to the Secretary General of Lok Sabha seeking permission for providing pre-cooked meals of private caterers and we will start the new service soon after getting the necessary permission," said a senior Railway Ministry official.
Currently Northern Railway runs the Parliament canteen.
"We have shortlisted three caterers for the job and they are ITC, Haldiram and MTR," the official said, adding both vegetarian and non-vegetarian pre-cooked food will be made available in Parliament.
Mattar pulao, rajma chawal, zira rice, Hyderabadi biryani, Chicken chettinad, pongal, dal makhani, navratan korma are some of the pre-cooked food products being finalised by the railways to be served in parliament canteen.
Besides offering the pre-cooked food, Railways is also planning to start a pilot project of serving pre-cooked food of ITC, MTR and Haldiram in three trains from next month.
Pre-cooked food would be served on Paschim Express and South Karnataka Express and another train running between Bangalore and Mumbai on a trial basis, the official said.
However, he said the Northern Railway will still continue to be engaged in parliament canteen.
JD(U) MP K C Tyagi had yesterday raised the issue of bad quality food being served in the canteen and said members were falling sick after consuming food from Parliament canteen and SP members Ram Gopal Yadav and Jaya Bachchan were the latest victims.
Congress MP Rajeev Shukla, who is also the member of food committee, has said food cooked at 6 AM was served till late night which was causing the problem.
He said, the problem started only after kitchen was shifted from the main building.
Parliament House kitchen, which serves food to MPs, staff and journalists during the sessions and beyond, was closed down in July 2012 because of the danger posed by the use of cooking gas cylinders.
The kitchen, which serves food to over 8,000 people during the session was closed down "to secure Parliament House against fire hazards and on the advice of Delhi fire service which has proposed to discontinue the use of LPG cylinders", a Lok Sabha bulletin had earlier said.