Gone are the days when all you could find at railway stations for a quick bite were stale samosas and dated sandwiches. Recently, the century-old and prime Bhopal Railway Station was certified by the Food Safety and Standard Association of India (FSSAI) as an &lsquoEat Right Station&rsquo with a 4-star rating.
The news comes at a time when discussions around revamping the junction with modern and passenger-friendly facilities have been doing rounds. The 4-star rating only bolsters the work authorities have set themselves on, as it suggests &lsquofull compliance&rsquo to the hygiene standards set by FSSAI.
Over the years, travellers frequenting the station have observed many positive changes. For instance, it now has installed disable-friendly infrastructure and is lauded to be the country&rsquos first railway station with sanitary napkin vending machines. These small milestones are not insignificant considering the station&rsquos recorded footfall and popularity&ndashespecially among tourists and pilgrims visiting the Stupa of Sanchi.
The certification began as a part of the &lsquoEat Right India&rsquo initiative, introduced in 2018 to transform and improve hygiene practices for the passenger&rsquos welfare. The apex food regulatory body, which comes under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has 240 parameters concerning food storage and hygiene, based on which the certification is accredited. They are also rated on a scale of one to five&ndashfive being the highest level of compliance with the standards and regulations in place.
India is home to many railway stations to earn this certification. They have paved the way for others to up their game and set a high benchmark. If you&rsquore boarding a train from one of these stations, do go with a heavy appetite
Mumbai Central Railway Station
This railway station was the country&rsquos first to earn the certification with a 4-star rating. You can enjoy some soulful Indian cuisine at the Rajdhani chain of restaurants or grab a light bite from the Bellasis Rail Cafe on the first floor.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
The railway station, known for its colonial architecture and beauty, also became known for its food when it received a 5-star rating and &lsquoEat Right Station&rsquo certification in 2019. From Kulfi to Maharashtrian favourites like Poha and Pav Bhaji, the station is brimming with lively kiosks selling all kinds of dishes you can try.
Anand Vihar Terminal Railway Station
This station in the country&rsquos capital was the third to be recognised with a 5-star rating by the FSSAI. There are many restaurants and kiosks where you can enjoy delicious, healthy meals at affordable prices.
Chandigarh Railway Station
Chandigarh has always been known for its immaculate urban planning and cleanliness. There&rsquos no reason its railway station should fall behind in this category, having won a 5-star rating along with the certification. The station has a lot to offer everybody. Apart from the usual fares, they also house joints serving healthy, low-cal options.
Vadodara Railway Station
In 2020, this railway station was also honoured with the certification and a 5-star rating. If you&rsquore boarding a train from here, head earlier because there&rsquos so much to try, from vada pav and dabeli to sev usal and more. Don&rsquot leave without getting some farsan packed to snack on the go.
Bhubaneswar Railway Station
With a 4-star rating and 29 food stalls, this railway station proves to be delightful for every foodie.
Vizag Railway Station
This 4-star rated railway station has up to 38 stalls serving healthy, hygienic and delicious dishes to travellers.