As the countdown to Durga Puja begins, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is gearing up to make the festive season a lot merrier for its passengers.
According to Times of India, food plazas at every major station under the Eastern Railway Zone have been directed to offer a complimentary drink or dessert with the meals ordered by passengers order during the Puja.
A special menu is also being curated for passengers travelling in Rajdhani and Duronto expresses.
All the outlets in the station food plazas will be soon decked up to give an ambience of the Puja season.
“We have also instructed the food plazas to prepare special and traditional items during the Puja. The staff has been directed to greet customers and wish them appropriately. Similar directions have been given to vendors serving food through e-catering,” Debashis Chandra, who is the group general manager (east), IRCTC told TOI.
According to Chandra, the practice is not new. Last year, the Rajdhani passengers were surprised with a special menu during the four days of Puja. With fully-fledged preparations on the roll at the base kitchen in Howrah station, Chandra stated that this year, the special service would be extended to more trains.
Here’s a peek into menu slated for the four days of Puja:
1. On Saptami, one will be treated to platters of shahi murgh/paneer korma, moong dal with green peas and ghee, sultana pulao/rotis and ice cream.
2. On Ashtami, the menu will include chicken/paneer rezala, dal makhani, sabz pulao/roti and ice cream.
3. On Navami, one will be offered murgh do pyaaza/matar paneer, mix dal, peas pulao/roti and ice cream.
4. On Dashami, makhanwali murgh/paneer, chana dal with coconut, ghee bhaat/paratha, gulab jamun and ice cream will be on the menu.
The trains that will serve the special meals are the Howrah and Sealdah Rajdhanis, the Howrah and Sealdah Durontos to New Delhi, Howrah-Yesvantpur Duronto Express, Sealdah-Puri Duronto Express and the Howrah-Digha AC Express.
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“We shall also ensure that more officers are on duty to deal with any complaints and to check that the food is being cooked, packed and served properly. Passengers can call up the IRCTC control room at 9831074006 if they require any assistance,” Chandra added.