IRCTC catering services in Indian Railways Mail/Express trains have been stopped until further notice, due to the Coronavirus outbreak in the country.
IRCTC has been directed by Indian Railways to stop on-board catering services in Mail/Express trains until further notice. The unprecedented measure comes in the wake of the COVID-19 or Coronavirus outbreak in the country. IRCTC or the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Catering Corporation, the catering arm of the Railway Ministry is responsible for providing food and beverage services to passengers across the Indian Railways network, i.e., inside trains and at railway stations. However, due to the Coronavirus outbreak in India, the Indian Railways authorities have undertaken some stringent measures to reduce the risk of the infection among passengers.
IRCTC has been directed to follow the protocols until further notice. Since the deadly COVID-19 virus infection can easily spread from person to person, hence on-board catering services have been stopped in Mail/Express trains. The various precautionary measures to be undertaken by the IRCTC units on the network, as instructed by the Indian Railways authorities are as follows:
- The refreshment rooms, food plazas, jan aahars as well as cell kitchens of IRCTC will be closed until further notice.
- The static kitchens supplying the meals to the prepaid trains, which are already in operation, may continue to operate.
- In the Mail/Express trains and in the TSV trains, the on board catering services have been closed until further notice.
- In case there is a demand for the onboard services in trains, then the authorities have only allowed tea and coffee, PAD items to be sold inside. Such catering operations inside trains must be conducted with the minimum number of IRCTC staff.
- The license must be requested to take care of their catering staff on the humanitarian grounds during this time period of closure
- These formal instructions will come into play and will be applicable across the Indian railways network, starting from March 22, 2020. The list of such static and mobile units will be intimated to the CO
- For the purpose of the license fee, this time period will be covered under the force majeure. In case there is a catering demand, the license is permitted to sell the PAD items, tea and coffee.