New Delhi, April 3: On the back of rapid growth of e-business, IRCTC has set its sights high and aims at achieving the target of one lakh online meal orders per day.
Currently, only about 3000 meals are being booked online every day with 193 stations and 1516 trains covered under the e-catering policy. The online food order on trains and at stations is catching up as passengers are evincing interest in opting for e-catering during train journey, said a senior IRCTC official.
Launched in September 2014 in a few selected trains as a pilot project, e-catering was extended to more trains the next year. In October 2015, station-based e-catering was started at 45 stations. As per the plan, e-catering will be extended to 409 major stations and almost all mail/express trains in a phased manner.
A passenger can book his meal through IRCTC website, mobile App, call centre and SMS. They can exercise the option of making the payment in advance or pay cash on delivery. "Since the launch of the e-catering scheme, the maximum online booking has so far clocked 4800 meals a day. Otherwise, we get about 2000 to 3000 bookings per day on average," he said, adding "our aim is to reach 1 lakh meal booking order per day in the coming days."
There are about 81 vendors including Haldiram's, Domino's Pizza, Bikanerwala, Wimpy, Kellog's and Chaayos, among others, as part of the IRCTC's e-catering scheme. Besides, seven food aggregators such as Food Panda and Travel Khana are also part of the e-catering business.
The official said more vendors and aggregators are being roped in to cover more stations. Plagued with complaints about food quality, Indian Railway is now focusing on e-catering to provide options to passengers.