The western railway (WR) plans to develop multi-brand food courts at the newly-built decks at Andheri and Goregaon stations, which will make it possible for you to buy a burger or pizza as you wait for a train.
The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is working on a plan to develop food courts covering 5,000-6,000sqft at each station. “Our plan is ready for both the food courts. They will be constructed on a build-operate-manage basis. For Andheri, the WR’s approval came on Tuesday morning, while the approval for Goregaon is in process. As soon as we get it, the work will be commissioned,” said Arvind Malkhede, group general manager, west zone, Mumbai.
The IRCTC plans to set up common sitting areas such as the ones at the airport. These might be built at the south or Churchgate-end on the west side of the stations.
The corporation plans to house branded eating outlets such as Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza hut and other restaurants in the food court. New Delhi station has a similar food court with a common sitting area.
While Andheri is emerging as an information technology (IT) and service sector hub, Goregaon has a large number of call centres. For a majority of people working there, the facility could serve as a better and cleaner eating option at the station, said WR officials.
Recently, railway minister Suresh Prabhu inaugurated a 25,000-sqft deck in Goregaon (West), which will allow free entry and exit to suburban commuters.
If all goes according to the plan, the Andheri food court should be ready by November, said another IRCTC official.
Other stations selected for the facility include Vashi, Bandra Terminus, Panvel, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, Neral and Lonavala.
Joseph Fernandez, a regular commuter, said, “Food court, shopping outlets, departmental stores on railway station premises is common in developed countries. It should be replicated at other suburban stations too.”