Officials claimed that the service has been doing well in the Western zone, specially Maharashtra, due to a wide base of vendors and higher purchasing capacity of passengers
The e-catering services offered by Indian Rail Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to passengers on board mail and express trains that do not have pantry cars has seen good growth.
The Indian Express has reported that figures from IRCTC show 15,59,670 meals were served in FY17 worth Rs 17 crore in comparison to 1,490 meals sold worth Rs 1 lakh in FY15.
The services, that were started three years ago, have picked up well, especially in the western zone, including Maharashtra. IRCTC officals attribute this to wide base of vendors in the region and better spending capacities of passengers.
The ‘Food on Tracks’ — website and mobile app — allows passengers to book food along with tickets.
“Booking by sending a text message is also available. We have 72 vendors to provide the food,” The Indian Express report quoted Pinakin Morawalla, Public Relations Officer at IRCTC. "Passengers, who have to travel for more than 6 hours, mostly prefer the option of booking food."
Now, Dominos Pizza and Haldirams also deliver fresh food, along with self help groups in and around Sawantwadi area near Pune, an IRCTC official said.“These food aggregators violate the law as providing catering to passengers is the sole responsibility of the IRCTC or registered food stalls and outlets under Railways. In the past few months, we have served notices to some aggregators who have allowed train passengers to book orders without keeping IRCTC in the loop. We have also deployed railway staff on board trains and platforms to curb the practice,” he told Indian Express.