There is no need to worry about breakfast, lunch or dinner during the train journey. Passengers will get the desired food even if trains do not have pantry car or side vending. In order to provide relief to the passengers, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has again started the facility of e-catering at 90 railway stations across the country including Gorakhpur, Howrah, Patna, New Delhi, Lucknow and Varanasi.
For breakfast, lunch and dinner passengers have to order online through Food on Track mobile application of IRCTC or by calling the phone number 1323. As soon as the order is received, the vendors of the food chain company will reach the station with food and snacks of the passengers. Delivery of food to passengers will be done on the seat itself. Passengers will also able to opt for cash on delivery and online payment.
E-catering services has been linked to all the major restaurants and food chain companies, where the food is liked by the people. In addition local stuffs such as litti-chokha, puri-sabzi, rice-dal, curd, kheer, paneer, mutton, chicken, biryani, fish curry, pizza and burger will be available. The e-catering services, which started from 2014 was discontinued in Lockdown from 22 March 2020 due to COVID-19 outbreak.
The system of pantry car services is gradually being eliminated in long distance trains and side vending facilities are not available. In fact, as soon as 20 years or older pantry car coaches is also being declared as junk. The new generation Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches is not going to have a pantry car. In such a situation, after discontinuation of the pantry car from the trains, no other arrangements are being made.
IRCTC Chief Public Relations Officer Anand Kumar Jha says that in the first phase, e-catering service was to be started at 62 railway stations from February 1. But on passengers demand, the number of stations has been increased to 90 within three days. In the second phase, more stations to be included in the list. COVID-19 protocol adherence is being ensured during delivery.