As passenger services remain stalled for now, the base kitchens of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) have begun to provide hot meals to various categories of needy people across the country.
The food is distributed by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) with the help of NGOs, with social distancing procedures and hygiene practices duly followed.
IRCTC has base kitchens in Katihar, Rajendranagar, Sealdah, Howrah, Prayagraj, Jhansi, Kanpur, New Delhi, Paharganj, Mumbai Central, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Pune, Sholapur, Bhusawal, Itarsi, Ahmedabad, Khurdha Road, Balasore, Vijaywada, Bangalore, Hubli, Thiruvananthapuram, Chengalpattu, Katpadi and Mangalore.
“The Indian Railways and IRCTC are gearing up to meet any higher demand to provide food to the needy during the lockdown period,” Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) Chief Public Relations Officer Subhanan Chanda told newsmen in Guwahati. “The IRCTC is ready for any contingency and adequate stocks of food grains and other raw material are being maintained.”
Chanda also said that to ensure an uninterrupted and seamless supply chain of goods and essential commodities in the wake of COVID-19 and lockdown, Indian Railways is offering its unhindered services of parcel trains across India.
“Transportation of essential items like medical supplies, medicines, medical equipment, food, dairy products, groceries, edible oil and other necessary items in small parcel sizes is going to be very important during the lockdown in the wake of COVID-19,” he said.