The Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has launched a pilot project of a station-based e-catering service, which allows passengers to order meals as per their choice and will be delivered at stations from popular private caterers.
In the first phase of the project, trains passing through 45 specified railway stations, comprising nine in the east zone, namely Guwahati, Howrah, Kharagpur, Mughalsarai, New Jalpaiguri, Sealdah and Vishakhapatnam have been named.
The other stations under this project include Ahmedabad, Anand Vihar, Allahabad, New Delhi, Kanpur Central, Lucknow, Varanasi, Chennai Central, Mumbai Central, Delhi, Bangalore city, Madurai, Amritsar, Thiruvananthapuram Central, Chandigarh, Gorakhpur, Varanasi, Jaipur, Bilaspur, Hazrat Nizamuddin, Ludhiana, Secunderabad, Tirupati, Vijayawada, Chennai Egmore, Ernakulam, Kozhikode, Thrisur, Yasvantpur, Nagpur, Pune, Agra Cantt, Gwalior, Jhansi, Bhopal, Surat and Vadodara.
Debashis Chandra, IRCTC Group General Manager (East Zone), said, “ Station-based e-catering will be only for stations and not on moving trains. The service will allow passengers to either order meals online at www.ecatering.irctc.co.in or by calling 0120-2383892-99/1800-1034-139 (toll free) or by sending SMS Meal to 139 with details of PNR and seat number and the meals will be delivered at their berth.”
Various fast food units like KFC, McDonald’s, Switz Foods, Only Alibaba, Domino’s, Haldiram, Bikanerwala, Nirula’s, Sagar Ratna, Pizza Hut have entered into a tie-up with IRCTC to serve the passengers passing through these stations.
Chandra also said, “On receiving the meals, passengers have an option of making payment online or through cash on delivery mode. The delivery of food would be made through authorised persons.”
“We have a dedicated call centre for this entire facility functioning from 10 am to 6 pm,” he added.
Regarding the cancellation of orders, Chandra said, “The passengers will also have an option to cancel their order two hours before reaching the station where the meals are scheduled to be delivered to them. In case passengers have made online payment for their order, the amount will be refunded after deducting a cancellation charge.