IRCTC to arrange tailor-made menus for passengers travelling in groups
Kolkata: In a bid to make its e-catering services more attractive, the eastern zone of Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has started arranging for tailor made menus for passengers who travel in groups. The east zone of IRCTC caters to around 700 passengers on a daily basis with its network spread across eleven prominent railway stations in the state.
"For the e-catering services, we have tie-ups with a number of food chains who deliver food according to the menu list. However, sometimes particularly when student groups travel on an education tour they prefer menu which is lighter in nature and of course less in terms of monetary value. We are getting orders of Luchi with Aloo Curry or Aloo Dum from these groups and we have made arrangements to deliver it during their train journey," Debashis Chandra , group general manager (East),
The IRCTC also serves tailor-made menu on special pricing as per demand for groups who travel for attending or return from marriage
"Our objective is to reach to more and more people with our service," Chandra said.
According to sources in IRCTC, a good number of food chains that had tied up with it for supplying food on rail tracks have not renewed their contract with the centre making it mandatory for vendors to supply items to IRCTC only when they have registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST).
IRCTC presently has 24 vendors enrolled in its list. Station like Santragachi that used to have a vendor presently has no vendors. New Jalpaiguri (NJP) presently has a single vendor while Sealdah and Kolkata station have two vendors each.
The IRCTC e-catering service that has started its operation in the east in October last year has also been getting lesser orders in the last few months.
"We used to get around 1,000-1,200 orders in the beginning of this year. Now on regular days, we are getting around 700 orders. However, during the festival season when there is heavy rush, we get reusable orders," an IRCTC official said. "We are in talks with some more vendors to make our food service on wheels more attractive," Chandra said.