Kochi: Broadening the ambit of its popular e-catering operations, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd. (IRCTC) has now decided to launch ‘station-based’ e-catering service at 45 stations including four in Kerala, which will allow travelling passengers to order food of their choice from leading private caterers to be delivered at these stations.
The new facility, to be introduced in a phased manner, will be only at stations and not on moving trains.
The e-catering facility allows passengers to order meals while travelling, either online at ecatering.irctc.co.in or by making a phone call to 0120-2383892-99 or the toll-free number at 1800-1034-139. They can also choose to do so through an SMS to 139 by giving details of their PNR and seat number.
To popularize the e-catering facility at stations, IRCTC will also develop mobile-based applications.
The station-based e-catering facility would be available for all trains passing through 45 major stations across India. Ernakulam, Thiruvananthapuram Central, Kozhikode and Thrissur are stations from Kerala in the list.
For the first time since its launch in September last year, e-catering facility is being introduced at stations. As of now, this facility is being provided in 1,516 non-pantry car trains.
IRCTC, a ‘mini Ratna’ PSU of India Railways, will soon float Expressions of Interest (EOIs) to ensure participation of experienced professionals and reputed food chains like KFC, McDonald, Haldiram, Bikanerwala, Nirualas, Sagar Ratna, Wangs Kitchen, Sarvana Bhavan, Subway, Domino’s, KFC, Pizza Hut and Kelloggs.
A minimum of five vendors/brands per station will be shortlisted / empanelled by IRCTC to ensure availability of a wide variety of choices at the stations. The new facility has been launched in accordance with this year’s Railway Budget announcement for the progressive launch of e-catering service.
IRCTC will implement the scheme in a phased manner. The facility will be extended to more stations depending on the responses received.
Besides e-catering, IRCTC makes available meals supplied by `Jan Aahaar’ (budget food), Food Plazas and Fast Food Units.
Kerala Biz News