New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) Amid the coronavirus crisis, the Indian Railways catering arm IRCTC on Friday said that food plazas, refreshment rooms, Jan Aahars and cell kitchens and the on board catering services in mail and express trains will remain closed until further notice.
The Indian Rail Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) in a circular said that the decision has been taken as a precaution to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
The circular said the instructions will come into force from March 22.
The IRCTC said, “Food plazas, refreshment rooms, Jan Aahars and cell kitchens should be closed until further notice.”
“The on-board catering services in mail and express trains and TSV trains should be closed until further notice,” it said, adding the static units supplying meals to the prepaid trains which are in operation may continue to operate.
The circular further said that if there is demand for onboard services, then only PAD items, tea and coffee may be allowed to be sold in the train.
“Such operation should be conducted using the minimum number of staff,” it said, adding that the licensee should be requested to take care of their catering staff on humanitarian ground during this period of closure.
As a precautionary measure, the railways has so far cancelled 245 pairs of trains across the country and also decided to cancel the passenger train services on Sunday during the ‘Janata Curfew’. On Sunday, even long distance trains originating after 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. will remain cancelled.