The Indian Railways on Friday allowed e-catering services to resume at selected railway stations. In a statement, the Railway Ministry said that it will be subject to compliance with all the guidelines on health and safety matters issued by Central and state governments and other authorised agencies under them. The ministry said that it may be noted that IRCTC had written to the Railway Board for the resumption of e catering at selected railway stations.
“IRCTC will have to review the situation now and permit the resumption of e-catering services depending upon the feasibility, availability of staff and local restrictions, etc,” it said.
The e-catering services had been suspended as a measure to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Earlier in May 2020, the Ministry of Railways decided to open all catering stalls at railway stations. These were shut in view of the lockdown on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Zonal Railways and IRCTC are advised to take necessary action for the opening of all Static catering and vending units (MPS, bookstalls, misc./chemist stalls, etc) at Railway stations with immediate effect, the ministry had advised. In the case of Food Plaza and refreshment rooms, cooked items may be served as take-away only with no sit-down eating arrangements in place.
Thereafter in October, the Indian Railways allowed the sale of cooked food at its catering and vending units on stations.
However, the food plazas, Jan Ahars, cell kitchens and refreshment rooms were allowed open only for takeaways. These units were earlier allowed to sell only packaged food.
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