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No caterer for Games?

delhi Updated: Aug 06, 2010 23:15 IST
Avishek G Dastidar

The Commonwealth Games organisers’ problem of finding a suitable caterer for its venues just got messed up some more.

The Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), one of the frontrunners for the catering contract, has just lost its rights to provide catering services on trains.

Indian Railways in its newly formed catering policy has just stripped IRCTC of all rights to serve food on moving trains, even though the experience in providing food to a mass based clientele on trains formed the basis of the corporation's claims to the Games catering contract.

The corporation would now sell food only at food plazas at select stations, the policy dictates, and its current resources towards catering will be curtailed.

Officials at the Organising Committee (OC) are in doubts about the corporation's capability to cater at the venues.

“How can we trust a company’s capability when its own parent organisation doesn't trust it with this job?” a senior OC official said on condition of anonymity.

While IRCTC refused to speak on its proposal for catering for the Games, sources said it has already gone ahead and hired infrastructure such as space in Delhi and deputed some officials after “strong signals” from the OC that it could bag the contract.

“We serve one million meals a day (in the railway network and elsewhere), so how can our capability as a caterer be in doubts?” asked a senior IRCTC official.

Earlier this year, after failing to find any suitable vendor for catering, the OC was in talks with IRCTC to serve packaged food at all venues, but in the last moment that deal fell apart.