With centrally-located Nagpur railway station included in the pilot project for implementation of ‘station-based E-catering’, hygienically packaged premium meals for passengers by reputed brands will be a click away.
The Railway Board on Friday issued detailed guidelines to launch E-catering project. Talking to TOI, senior divisional commercial manager (SrDCM) KK Mishra confirmed that the project will be fully implemented by IRCTC, which will nominate parties who will supply meals as per bookings.
“Nagpur is among 45 stations where the project will be implemented and passengers will get to book meals of their choice. The decision was taken in the railway budget,” Mishra added.
Based on the response received from the passengers and the need to ensure provision of catering services to them, it has been decided to proliferate the scheme on stations so that passengers are able to get pre-ordered meals of their choice at stations. The scheme will be extended to more stations next year.
The project will be station-based only and not for moving trains. IRCTC shall facilitate booking of meals through specified number or website or through SMS. The booking of meals shall be accepted with specific advance delivery time opted by the passengers. The stations with E-catering facility will reflect items, brands and vendors with menu they will offer and willing passengers may chose options as per their choice. IRCTC will provide online transaction facility or cash on delivery.
Railway officials said there would be no competition with the railways which was currently handling catering services as the E-catering food would be of premium quality. There will be an option to even cancel the order prior to specified time. IRCTC will arrange for refund of balance amount after deducting cancellation charges.
IRCTC sources said expression of interest (EoI) would be floated soon and reputed brands like KFC, Dominos, Mc Donald, Haldiram’s, Bikanerwala, Pizza Hut, Subway etc, besides other reputed brands would be shortlisted. “Each E-station will have minimum five vendors for a period of three years,” they said.
On revenue sharing issue, officials said the ratio between Indian Railways and IRCTC would be 15:85. The pilot project will continue till March 2016.