HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

E-catering for railways to be regularised soon

Srinand Jha, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 05, 2014
First Published: 23:36 IST(5/8/2014) | Last Updated: 23:38 IST(5/8/2014)

The railways are on the verge of opening up the Rs. 2,000 crore train food market to e-caterers, a move that would spell good news for train passengers. An e-catering policy of the railways is in the making, which will legitimise activities relating to the booking or delivery of meals online.


A number of online portals are already in the business such as, and, which have tie-ups with over 300 restaurants across the country to serve meals at an estimated 180 railway stations.

Since online caterers have not paid any license fee and are not recognized by the public transporter, such operations have not been regularised yet. “Issues such as pricing and monitoring of the quality of food are being deliberated. The new plan to regularise such operations will be rolled out within two months,” a senior official said.

Railway minister DV Sadananda Gowda is understood to have held detailed discussions with officials on the proposal. — which claims to serve 1,500 daily meals — plans to expand the business through franchisees with restaurants in different cities and online tour operators. The portal claims to have already served meals to 3,83,921 train passengers.

Some catering portals are also offering services for the supply of emergency medicines such as insulin injections for diabetics.

Exiting from the catering business is among the options being considered by the railways. “The railways must focus on its tasks as a transporter and go in for a hassle-free approach by permitting online booking of meals without charging a license fee from service providers. It is impossible for the railways to deliver, monitor or take responsibility of the quality of food served,” sections feel.

more from India

Modi announces Rs 745 crore relief for Kashmir's flood-hit homes and hospitals

The Prime Minister said the relief of Rs 570 crores was for rehabilitation of the flood affected and Rs 175 crores for renovation of six hospitals in the state. This is the PM's fourth visit to the state since he came to power in May.
Most Popular
Copyright © 2014 HT Media Limited. All Rights Reserved