Train travellers missing freshly cooked meals on their journeys can heave a sigh of relief.
The Indian Railways has decided to resume cooked food services that were suspended during the Covid pandemic. For so long, passengers on long-distance journeys had been carrying their own meals in the wake of the restrictions. Otherwise, only tea, coffee, snacks and ready-to-eat packaged food were available on trains.
The move comes a week after the Railways decided to discontinue the ‘special’ tag for mail and express trains and revert to pre-pandemic ticket prices with immediate effect. Recently, the ministry of civil aviation also allowed airlines to serve meals on all domestic flights.
The Railway Board, according to a report in NDTV, told the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) on Friday in a letter that in view of the normalising of train services and the relaxation of Covid curbs in restaurants and eateries across the country, it has been decided that cooked meals would be provided again on trains, and Ready To Eat meal services would also continue.
With COVID cases sliding, the number of train passengers has picked up, and there were demands for a return to pre-Covid ticket rates. The Railways also registered a surge of 113 per cent in earnings from the passenger segment in the second quarter of 2021-2022 as compared to the first.