Guwahati, March 30 (IANS) Indian Railways has started providing bulk cooked food to various categories of needy people from 25 locations across India hosting base kitchens of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), officials said on Monday.
According to Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) Chief Public Relations Officer Subhanan Chanda, the bulk cooked food distribution was started from Sunday.
“The IRCTC supplied total 11,030 lunch-meals to needy people, migrant labourers, few old age homes and others across the country. Katihar Base Kitchen (in eastern Bihar under NFR) provided 500 meals on Sunday to poor people and the food was distributed by Railway Protection Force (RPF) with the help of an NGO,” Chanda told IANS.
He said that the RPF troopers with the help of NGOs also provided about 150 meals at New Jalpaiguri and Samsi station areas in north Bengal.
The CPRO said that the IRCTC would also be providing food on demand. Distribution would be done by RPF personnel or other railway authorities.
“While delivering the food to needy persons, social distancing and hygiene is being observed. The Indian Railways and IRCTC are gearing up to meet any higher demand to provide food to needy during the lockdown period.The IRCTC is ready for any contingency and adequate stocks of food grains and other raw material are being maintained,” the official said.
Currently 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.
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.