Poori Bhaji At ₹20: IRCTC Sets Up Affordable Meal Counters

Travelling by train is set to be a little cheaper as the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has set up nearly 150 affordable food counters at over 100 stations across the country. According to a statement issued by Sumit Thakur, the chief public relations officer (PRO) of Western Railway, these counters are set to be situated near general second class (GS) coaches on platforms and offer easy access to economical meals; as per the official statement, the Indian Railways took the initiative, considering the surge in passenger traffic in summers, especially in the unreserved coaches.

“Under this initiative, as many as 150 meal counters have been set up at over 100 stations across India. This exercise commenced on April 17 under which meals will be available for passengers on the go at counters specifically placed near general second class (GS) coaches o­n platforms,” read the official statement.,

In 2023, the 'affordable meal counter' was launched at 51 stations and the Railways is now expanding it to over 100 stations nationwide. IRCTC’s official X account also shared, “Provision has been made for economy meals along with packaged drinking water from the dispensing counters near General Coaches at the platforms. As of date, these catering services are being provided at more than 100 stations.”

There’s the Janatha Khana meal which comes with multiple pooris and 150 grams of bhaji at ₹20, there’s a rice-based economy meal with curd/lemon/tamarind rice (200 grams) at ₹20 There are snack meal options as well with an assortment of South Indian rice varieties at ₹50. Last month IRCTC joined hands with the popular food delivery app Swiggy, to deliver pre-ordered meals to those travelling by train, who can order food via the railway’s e-catering portal. The service was kicked off at four stations Bengaluru, Bhubaneshwar, Vijayawada and Vishakhapatnam and IRCTC plans to expand the service to over 59 city stations in six months.