IRCTC said in a statement on Friday that it will resume its e-catering services from next month. Due to onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent unprecedented lockdown, e-catering services were suspended on 22 March 2020.
IRCTC, the catering and tourism arm of the Indian Railways, is going to restart its e-catering services for passengers travelling in the special trains that are currently operating.
IRCTC had started this unique service in the year 2014 whereby passengers could order an array of food of their choice from reputed brands as well as popular regional and local delicacies on phone or online while travelling on trains and get the same delivered to their seats at the railway station.
During the pre-COVID period, IRCTC had started clocking 20,000 e-catering orders per day.
Now, with the gradual resumption of passenger train services and amidst the new normal, wherein IRCTC is serving only 'Ready To Eat' meals to passengers on trains, there has been an increase demand for resumption of e-catering services.
With permission from the Railways Ministry coming in, IRCTC is ready to resume the e-catering services in a phased manner from February, the statement said.
Initially, services will be started in around 30 railway stations catering to approximately 250 trains.
"IRCTC is ensuring that all its e-catering partners ensure proper health and hygiene protocols while serving the meals to the passengers.
"The passengers shall avail the services of e-catering through www.ecatering.irctc.com. e-catering orders through telephone is also being restored over 1323 shortly. Passengers can also download IRCTC e-catering app 'Food On Track' from the various app stores and avail e-catering services. For convenience of the passengers option of cash on delivery has also been provided," it said.