PATNA: With sharp decline in the cases of COVID-19, after more than a year, the Ministry of Railways finally on Wednesday directed the IRCTC for restoration of catering services with cooked foods initially in a select group of country’s premier trains, including the Rajdhani, the Shatabdi and the Tejas.
As per the order issued by the ministry, the concerned zonal railways will verify the catering charges to ensure that no exorbitant charges are realised from the passengers and the services are restored in the trains adhering to all safety protocols of COVID-19.
To begin with, the railways has allowed the restoration of catering services of cooked foods on-board for passengers in the Rajdhani, the Shatabdi, the Duranto, the Vande-Bharat, the Tejas and the Gatiman categories of premier trains. At present, 24 pairs of Rajdhani, 23 pairs of Shatabadi, 24 pairs of Duranto, 4 Tejas and 2 Vande Bharat trains besides the Gatishakti are being run by the railways connecting New Delhi from different cities of country.
The railways has also directed the IRCTC’s CMD to intimate the zonal railways about the exact date from which onboard catering services with cooked foods will be resumed in services in selected group of trains. As per a conservative figure, more than 3 to 4 lakh passengers undertake journey through these catering of trains daily in the country. “With resumption of caterings services after more than a years (March 2020 to till date), passengers on board will get a huge relief in getting cooked foods on long routes of these trains," said an official of railways.
The zonal railways after being intimated by the IRCTC will ensure the proper restoration of catering services and updating the software enabling option for opting food while booking.
Besides all this, the IRCTC has also been directed to inform the passengers through SMS about the resumption of caterings services on exact soon to be fixed. “For those whom have already booked tickets for any of these trains, the IRCTC will provide facility of cooked foods on demand on-board under catering services on payment," said the railways.(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)