Travelling, or rather waiting, for a train in Mumbai is all set to become fancy, innovative and affordable.
The Indian Railway Catering Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) is planning to open pod hotels near the Mumbai Central Railway station. They have already sent a proposal to the Western Railways regarding this, and approval is awaited.
Pod hotels were first developed in Japan and had attracted the world’s attention with their compact accommodation system which includes top-of-the-class amenities that one would find in any hotel room.
In 2017, India’s first such hotel opened in Andheri (Mumbai), and now, the IRCTC will introduce them to its passengers.
Here are six things to know about this plan:
1. With these pod hotels, the IRCTC is planning to provide a stopover option that is more comfortable than the usual retiring halls. Although the first phase of the project will have 30 pod capsules, they plan on expanding the number of rooms depending upon the response they get.
“The capsule concept will be one-of-a-kind with ultra-modern, smart amenities available to passengers. This construction proposal is part of a wave of innovative ideas to enhance the passenger experience,” said Pinakin Morawala, Manager and spokesperson at IRCTC to Business Today.
2. Speaking to the Financial Express, Morawala said, “Each pod will be 5 feet by 7 feet. This is the way forward world-over to provide affordable stopover options to passengers. A hotel room costs much more, whereas a pod will have all essential comforts for a 7-8 hour stay time.”
3. Each pod or ‘capsule’ will have essential amenities such as WiFi, power sockets and USB ports, as well as advanced facilities like temperature and light control, entertainment screens and personal lockers.
4. The common areas will feature amenities like dining, washroom, lounge and changing rooms.
5. Officials have claimed that these pods will be much cheaper than the current retiring rooms developed by the IRCTC as well as hotel rooms. So, if you have a stopover of a few hours, you can safely book these capsules without spending a bomb.
6. If this project, which is set to be spread over 4000 square feet, is successful, the IRCTC will replicate the model in cities other than Mumbai.
“We have discussed the construction of the pod hotel and have sent a proposal to the WR. After the approval of the proposal and allocation of the area, designs for the exteriors and interiors will be done,” a senior official from the corporation told the Hindustan Times.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)