Indian Railway Catering Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is expected to resume e-catering from the first week of February with Railway Ministry permitting IRCTC to start the services in select stations if it meets the requisite health and safety regulations.
IRCTC has tied up aggregators like Swiggy, RailRestro and various food shops for e-catering to enable passengers to get food delivered on train from vendors registered with IRCTC, said official sources.
At present, passengers are served ready-to-eat meals only, for which IRCTC has tied up from companies like Nestle (Maggi), Tata Smart Foodz (Tata-Q), Haldiram Snacks (Haldirams), ITC Limited (Kitchens of India), among others.
As of now, ready-to-eat food is delivered in 250 trains and the e-catering is expected in 400 trains from early February though a final clarity will emerge closer to the date, said a source.
IRCTC had stopped e-catering in trains after Covid-19 triggered lockdown and health risks had set in leading to cancellation of passenger train services. Indian Railways has resumed almost 55-60 per cent of its passenger train services. Before lockdown, e-catering service of IRCTC was getting about 20,000 orders per day.
IRCTC had sought permission from the Railways in September 2020 to start such services.