New Delhi: In a relief for people travelling long distances, the Railways is set to resume serving cooked meals on trains, a service which was discontinued in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The order from the Railway Board issued on Friday comes amid the resumption of regular services by the national transporter earlier this month.
The Railway Board, in a letter to the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation, has asked for the resumption of the service.
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It also said that ready-to-eat meals will continue to be served to passengers.
“In view of the restoration of normal train services, requirements of travelling passengers and easing of Covid lockdown restrictions in eateries, restaurants, hotels and such other places across the country, it has been decided by the Ministry of Railways to resume the services of cooked food in trains. Service of ready-to-eat meals will also continue,” the letter stated.
While it is not clear when this service will be restored, sources indicated that the work of issuing new tenders for licensees to serve food on board trains has already begun. The menu, sources said, is likely to remain unchanged.
In the pre-Covid times, the Railways used to serve 11 lakh meals daily.
Earlier this month, the Railways had announced the running of normal trains, withdrawing the special tag which had been in place for the pandemic.
With winter approaching, concerns have been raised by passengers over the availability of bedrolls on trains, which too had been discontinued due to Covid-19. Officials said that as of now, no decision has been taken on the resumption of this service.
The Railways’ decision to resume serving cooked food on trains also comes days after the Ministry of Civil Aviation allowed airlines to serve meals on all domestic flights.