Indian Railways going back to IRCTC for catering services
Indian Railways going back to IRCTC for catering services

In a boomerang shift, Indian Railways has gone back to Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to handle the catering business in trains. In the recent development, IRCTC will empanel firms which will supply ‘Ready To Eat’ (RTE) meals to the commuters at reasonable rates. On July 6, Railway Board asked IRCTC to shortlist firms to supply RTE products to provide variety, quality and hygienic meals at affordable rates to the passengers.

The firm once empaneled, will have a validity of five years. In order to bring in more transparency, IRCTC will regularly update the information about these firms on its website. The decision seems to be as per the rail budget (2016-17) announcement stating IRCTC would begin to manage catering service in a phased manner.

Speaking about the move, Girish Pillai, Additional Member (tourism and catering) Railway Board, said that Railways is looking into totality of the issue and IRCTC will take over catering services in phases. However, a policy decision will be taken soon. The railways had taken over catering services from IRCTC as per the provisions of Catering Policy, 2010, as the corporation could not professionalize catering services and did not perform well.

IRCTC still doesn't have enough staff to efficiently manage a huge catering business. Thus, after taking over the base kitchens, it plans to rope in food majors in the city who will supply RTE food based on e-orders, revealed officials.

Elaborating further on the subject, a source informed that soon IRCTC will be taking over two kitchens of Nagpur Division of Central Railways located at Nagpur and Ballarshah. With the help of these two kitchens, IRCTC will be catering food to the railway commuters with the help of private parties. 

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