Retiring rooms at 600 stations across the country will undergo a major revamp as IRCTC plans to equip them with air-conditioners, wifi connectivity and aesthetically-designed washrooms, among other facilities.
Railways currently manages around 2,000 retiring rooms or dormitories at more than 600 stations. The facility is meant to provide reasonable safe transit accommodation to bona fide passengers, who can book a retiring room for a maximum of 72 hours.
“We are in the process of floating tenders to engage reputed service providers for the maintenance, expansion and introduction of new facilities in retiring rooms on the PPP and renovate-operate-transfer (ROT) model,” IRCTC Chairman and Managing Director A K Monocha said .
“Renovation work will be carried out in a phased manner. To begin with, retiring rooms/dormitories at around 400 major stations will be taken up to provide upgraded services to rail passengers,” he added.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had in his 2016-17 budget speech announced that “retiring rooms will be handed over to the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation to ensure that these can be managed in a professional manner.”
The revamped retiring rooms will have facilities like quality mattresses and linen, almirah/locker for luggage, LED TV, telephone and intercom, firefighting equipment, potable water and room heaters. They will be well furnished and properly lit.
Washrooms are to be aesthetically designed with modern facilities. There will also be wheel chairs for senior citizens and disabled persons.
IRCTC is also planning to provide some value-added services on payment basis, such as food and beverage in rooms, tour and travel services with local sightseeing, magazines and books, laundry facility, Internet, STD/ISD and Wi-Fi connectivity in the premises.
It will also ensure retailing of journey conveniences and travel requirements like gifts and toys. To top it all, there will be bell boy/porter service for luggage handling.
“IRCTC intends to provide an upgraded retiring room complex on lines of guesthouses with more personalised services and expanded food and beverage services,” he said, adding, “We will bring industry expertise to undertake the refurbishing work of the retiring room complexes.”
Currently, the facilities in retiring rooms include AC and non-AC rooms with attached/common bathrooms, AC and non-AC dormitories with common bathrooms, limited food and beverages services, and lockers.