- In wake of COVID-19 restrictions, IRCTC had stopped catering services onboard trains
- Along with catering services, trains had also stopped providing blankets and linens to passengers
- The new order by IRCTC comes in wake of a declining trend in the overall COVID-19 cases across India
In a significant step towards the restoration of passenger services, the Indian Railways has now decided to serve freshly cooked food in Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto, Vande Bharat, Tejas, and Gatiman Express trains. In this regard, an order already has been issued to all concerned departments and stakeholders.
The order stated that the matter has been examined and it has been decided to resume cooked foods in trains.
According to this order, Zonal Railways will verify the catering charges to be realized based on services being provided and the applicable rate list and feed the same in the PRS software for enabling booking/opting out of catering services, from ARP date, at the time of booking of tickets.
“Presently, it will be applicable for only Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto, Vande Bharat, Tejas and Gatiman category of trains. For those passengers, who already booked tickets in advance, some directions have been given to the service provider,” the order reads.
According to this, IRCTC will intimate the concerned Zonal Railway about the exact date from which onboard catering services with cooked food will be resumed in a particular train for the journeys falling within the ARP.
It also said that Zonal Railways on getting such intimation will enable the option of booking meals or opting out of catering services for the journey dates starting from the commencement of catering service in PRS software.
It advised IRCTC to inform e-ticket passengers through SMS and e-mail, who already booked tickets in advance regarding the resumption of cooked food supply.
Similarly, Zonal railways shall inform passengers who are booked through PRS via Bulk SMS.
For the tickets already booked, IRCTC will provide a facility on its website to opt for catering services and payment of the charges due in advance.
This facility will be available for e-tickets as well as counter-ticket passengers.
For those passengers who already booked and have not opted for the same online, cooked food should be made available on-demand in the train on a payment basis, subject to availability. The ticket checking staff onboard shall collect the catering charges due as per the approved rate list.
(With inputs from ANI)