The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation is all set to manage the mobile catering services on 23 more trains as part of the IRCTC’s phased efforts to bring management of food supply services on trains under the Mini-Ratna Enterprise.
This brings the total number of trains that IRCTC manages catering to 115. Currently, they offer services on 65 express trains, 6 Rajdhanis, 13 Duronto, 6 Shatabdi and 2 Suvidha trains. And of these, 29 trains are served by the department and 63 through licensees.
IRCTC will also make an announcement on the unbundling soon, with plans to streamline catering options by setting by base kitchens across the country and assigning separate agencies to prepare and distribute the food. All new trains and trains introduced on short notice or otherwise as well as trains whose existing catering contracts have been terminated or surrendered will also have IRCTC managing the catering.
Chairman and Managing Director of IRCTC, A K Manocha spoke about this development and said, “As we take up more responsibilities, we are proud of the confidence the Railways has in the quality and efficiency of the catering provided by the IRCTC. Our goal will be to continue to improve the services for the passengers.”
Also part of the plan is to construct budget hotels at Khajuraho in Madya Pradesh and Sawantwadi near Goa on a Public Private Partnership model. They also want to construct a Rail Neer plant in Hapur, Uttar Pradesh which will have a capacity of 1 lakh litres per day. This plant will serve Agra, Muradabad, Izzatnagar and the Delhi division and should be in operation in the next year and a half.
The newly added trains include Purushottam Express, Patna-Ranchi Jan Shatabdi, Kalka Mail, Bhrahmaputra Mail, Lichchavi Express, Bangalore City-Nizamuddin Rajdhani Express and Bangalore City-Chennai Shatabdi.