Allotment of Contracts under New Railway Catering Policy-2010

As per now Catering Policy 2010, the allotment for general category which are all major units and 75 per scent of general minor units at ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ category stations is to be done by Zonal Railways through open competitive and two packet tender system. The allotment for 25 per cent of the Special Minor Units at ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ category stations for reserved categories and 49.5 per cent Special Minor Units and 50.5 per cent of the General Minor Units at ‘D’, ‘E’ and ‘F’ category stations is to be done by calling of applications, by the Divisions. However, the allotment of Food Plazas, Food Courts and Fast Food Units is to be done by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).

As per Catering Policy 2010, issued recently on July 21, 2010, a reservation of 3 per cent at ‘A”, ‘B’ AND ‘C’ category of stations and 9.5 per cent at ‘D’, ‘E’ and ‘F’ category of stations has been earmarked for allotment of catering units to minorities. During the last three years, on Southern and South Central Railway a total number of 10 and 3 catering units respectively have been allotted to licensees belonging to Minority communities. No change is presently envisaged in this respect.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways, Shri K.H. Muniyappa in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.

Railways to take over catering services from IRCTC

Railways to take over catering services from IRCTC

A man boards a local train at a railway station in Kolkata February 24, 201…Railways has decided to strip the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC) of its catering responsibilities on the Rajdhani, Duronto, Shatabdi and all other mail and express trains.

The Catering Policy-2010 finalised by Railways have clearly spelt out that “Railways shall progressively take over management of all mobile catering services including base kitchens, pantry cars and all food stalls in railway premises”.

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At present, IRCTC, a Railway subsidiary, is responsible for serving food in about 300 trains including in premier trains like Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi.

With this move, IRCTC will forgo a catering business worth at least Rs 200 crores, said a senior IRCTC official.

The Railway Board will now determine the menu and tariff for the standard meals, breakfast, tea and coffee, which are included in the fare.

The new policy comes in the wake of increased passenger complaints about the quality of food served on board trains and in stations.

IRCTC will now be responsible for selling e-ticket and i-ticket and running the Rail Neer business.

Besides, it will manage Food Plaza, Food Courts, fast food units.

However, the policy has stipulated that “all such contracts presently being managed by IRCTC, on expiry of the contract period, will be awarded by the zonal railways in a phased manner”.

IRCTC will not renew any contract required to be handed over to zonal railways on expiry of the contract.

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At present, there are about 65 food plazas across the country.

Railways will now formulate operating guidelines to implement the new catering policy.

Plagued with passenger complaints, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee had stated in her Budget speech this year that a new catering policy will be announced to improve the food quality.

Incidentally, IRCTC was formed during Mamata Banerjee’s regime in 2001.

The Jan Ahaar outlets started recently by Railways to provide affordable meals to all class of people will also be managed by zonal railways.

The policy took over a year to be finalised.

The last policy catering policy was formulated during Lalu Prasad’s regime in 2005.