Railways to soon restore cooked food on trains

Written by Avishek G Dastidar
| New Delhi |

Updated: November 20, 2021 7:58:02 am

With the restoration of full-fledged train services — 1,768 long-distance trains a day — the Railways Board Friday brought out an order to restore cooked meals as well. (File)

The Indian Railways Friday decided to resume cooked meals on trains after the service was stopped last year owing to Covid-19 restrictions.

The Railway Board order came days after the national transporter restored all trains that were stopped over a year ago amid curbs. Currently, only packaged ready-to-eat food is available on payment in Rajdhani, Shatabdi and other trains.

This decision effectively restores train services to the pre-pandemic state. Ready-to-eat meals, however, will continue to be served on demand. The cooked food service may start from December 1, or even earlier, subject to how prepared licensees are.

According to sources, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will re-issue fresh tenders for food licensees. It has been drawing up the

paperwork over the past few days.

As per an internal assessment of the Railway Ministry, as well as zonal railways, ready-to-eat meals such as poha, paratha, rajma chawal and upma did not find much favour with passengers. Railway users had indicated that they would prefer cooked meals.

Officials said existing menus would continue for the time being. This means the platter with rotis, rice, vegetables and curd will be back.

“In view of restoration of normal train services, requirements of travelling passengers, and easing of Covid lockdown restrictions in eateries, hotels, restaurants and other such places across the country, it has been decided by Ministry of Railways to resume the service of cooked food in trains,” says the order from the ministry.

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