The Railways and the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) plan to open multi-cuisine restaurants at several stations, including New Delhi.
"We're planning to open a restaurant at the New Delhi station in an area of 2,000 square metres. It will cost Rs. 5-7 crore," said Sudhir Garg, additional divisional railway manager (ADRM), Delhi.
In all, the Railways will open 20 restaurants. "The one coming up at New Delhi will be the biggest one. It will be a multi-brand facility with an executive lounge. The other outlets, which are to start at Anand Vihar, Old Delhi, Ghaziabad and Rohtak, will require an area of 500-1,000 square feet. These will be two-storeyed facilities and provide cuisines from various states of India," Garg said.
"New Delhi station already has some good food joints, but this project aims at creating a food court-like space. As part of this project, Northern Railway has already opened food plazas at the Shahadra and Ghaziabad stations," he said.
The plan to have a plush eating area at the New Delhi railway station was caught in bureaucratic tussle between the Railways and IRCTC for long. The Railways wanted to operate the facility, but corporation said the operation was its prerogative.
"We're in the process of sorting out the differences. We expect to roll out the service very soon," informed a top official.
The Northern Railway has plans to set up 50 booths to sell milk products at its stations. "By October 15, the facility will start at New Delhi. Anand Vihar will have its booth in a month," Garg said.
The railways will open around three such booths every month.
"Big stations, such as those in Delhi, will have two to four booths, while the smaller ones will have one each. We need to tie up with states, such as Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. Milk production and development boards in these states will award contracts," he added.