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New Delhi, April 22, 2020
The Indian Railways have offered to supply 2.6 lakh meals daily from their various kitchens located all over the country to the States.
With the nationwide lockdown extended until May 3, the Railways have played a pivotal role in maintaining the supply chain and logistics of essential goods such as food and medicine to even remote locations of the country, an official press release said.
The Ministry of Railways has offered to supply meals daily wherever the district administration is willing and able to pick up cooked meals and distribute among the needy. This has been communicated to District authorities all over the country.
Details of zone-wise kitchen in-charges have also been communicated to the States. The offer of 2.6 lakh meals/day is based on the kitchen capacities of the earmarked initial locations. If the need arises, more such locations can be ramped up to boost the supply, the release said.
These meals will be available at cost basis at Rs 15 per meal. Payments settlement can be done by the State Governments at a later stage.
IRCTC has agreed to ramp up the number of cooked meals as per demand. Nearly one lakh free hot cooked meals are already being distributed by Indian Railways daily. Indian Railways staff from a number of Railway organizations have worked tirelessly since March 28 to provide hot cooked meals to needy people after the lockdown due to COVID-19, it said.
Railways have been providing bulk cooked food with paper plates for lunch and food packets for dinner through IRCTC base kitchens, RPF resources, commercial and other railway departments, and contribution of NGOs.
Distribution of free hot cooked meals by Indian Railways during the national lockdown due to COVID-19 crossed the two million mark yesterday with a total of more than 20.5 lacs hot cooked meals distributed to people vulnerable to hunger due to the pandemic and lockdown like stranded persons, daily wage labourers, migrants, children, coolies, homeless, the poor and many who form the floating population.
This is being done with the active cooperation of IRCTC base kitchens spread over various zones. Distribution of food is being done with the help of RPF, GRP, commercial departments of Zones, State Governments, District administrations and NGOs, even beyond the station vicinity to cater to the food requirements of needy people in areas surrounding the railway stations.
The IRCTC kitchens gearing up to serve the needy persons in case of demand include Gaya, Deen Dayal (Mugalsarai), Rajinder Nagar (Patna), Samastipur, Dhanbad, Hajipur, Katihar, Guwahati, Ranchi, Balasore, Tatanagar and Howrah in East Zone; New Delhi and Prayagraj in North Zone; Vijayawada, Khurda Road, Visakhapatnam and Raipur in South Central Zone; Bangalore, Hubli, Tiruchirappalli, Katpadi, Ch Engalpa Ttu and Madurai in South Zone; and Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Pune and Bhusaval in West Zone.