Railways To Reimburse Rs 50 Per Meal To IRCTC For Catering Service In Shramik Specials

With the aim of ensuring better catering service for stranded passengers, Railways will now reimburse IRCTC for serving food and packaged drinking water on Shramik Special trains.

Making the provision of catering services in Shramik Special trains a standard practice, Railway Ministry issued a fresh guideline on May 8 directing the Railways PSU to “put into place proper planning and monitoring mechanisms to ensure that satisfactory standards of catering are maintained.”

As per the directive, IRCTC will be reimbursed Rs 50 per meal including one litre of bottled water.
The number of meals provided on each train shall normally be either one or two meals depending upon requirements based on journey time. Hence reimbursement per passenger is not expected to exceed Rs 100, if two meals are being provided in long journey.

It is expected that we have to make atleast one lakh meals per day for Shramik Special trains and the number of meals would increase with more and more number of trains allowed to run, said a senior IRCTC official.

A 24-coach train generally carries about 1000 passengers on an average.

Launched on May 1, Shramik Special service has facilitated train journey for more than 3 lakh stranded migrants, pilgrims, students and other passengers on 302 trains till now.

People from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala, Delhi, Karnataka and Rajasthan travelling to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Bengal in these trains.

IRCTC, railways catering arm, was distributing free meals till now under the corporate social responsibility.
Now though we are still continung with free meal distribution at various places, now our focus will be maximum on catering service in Shramik Specials, official added.

IRCTC shall coordinate with Railways regarding running of Shramik Special Trains and plan for meal provision accordingly. Each meal shall include one litre of packaged drinking water bottle.

IRCTC is also expected to restart its Rail Neer plants to cater to the growing needs of packaged water in trains.
Instructing the IRCTC to maintain proper hygiene and quality of meals served, railways has asked the IRCTC to decide on the menu which should be wholesome and hygienically packaged keeping in view food safety and hygiene norms.

Leaving nothing to chance, railways has sought a full record of meals in each train including the number of passengers travelled per train, name of stations with number of meals served, to be maintained by IRCTC and the Station Superintendent/Manager of the concerned station where meals are served.

Zonal Railways shall also maintain a record of the number of passengers served train-wise along with details of meal provider, the guideline said.

A good meal with clean potable water will go a long way for the stranded migrants who have faced hardship due to the lockdown.

With passenger service in suspension, Shramik Specials are only trains operational besides goods trains on rail network.