You can soon get hot and tasty foods at railway stations at the press of a button if a proposal moved to the Railway Board to install food vending machines on platforms gets approval.
The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Cooperation has moved a proposal to the Railway Board to install food vending machines on a pilot basis. The proposal is to provide 6-7 menu options which passengers can select by pressing a button.
Initially the plan is to install vending machines at the New Delhi and Varanasi railway stations and to club it with the Jan Aahar canteen run by Railways. But the IRCTC has to obtain the permission of the Railway Board as under the Jan Aahar scheme, no food item can be priced above Rs 50. “This is a move to provide good quality food to passengers. Innovative ways are being explored to ensure the convenience of passengers,” a source in the Railways.
The IRCTC last year started the e-catering facility whereby passengers can order online food items of their choices and get them delivered at their seats at stations.
Currently e-catering is available on about 1,500 non-pantry trains and at 45 railway stations. About 2,500 to 5,000 meals are being booked a day through the IRCTC e-catering site. The plan is to expand the facility to 400 stations and the menu contains 200 items.
For its e-catering facility, now known as “Food on Track”, the IRCTC has already partnered the online delivery firm Food Panda, enabling consumers to choose from a variety of cuisine options. It is in talks with several other reputed catering companies to diversify the menu.
Passengers can order food through the website, the mobile app or over the phone and select the food of their choice from the listed restaurants.