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Indian Railways has allowed e-catering services to resume in trains, reported news agency ANI. In the view of coronavirus outbreak in the country, the Railways had earlier stopped the e-catering services in the trains. Now, the food delivery will be permitted during the rail journey, "depending upon the feasibility, availability of staff and local restrictions."

Food delivery on trains will be permitted at select stations across the nation. The service providers need to follow the instructions imposed by the local government and governing authorities. The decision came after Manish Chandra, CEO and founder, RailRestro, had written to the Ministry of Railways and IRCTC officials to allow the e-catering services in the trains. RailRestro is an IRCTC-authorized e-catering wing of Indian Railways.

The food delivery service is all set to operate from the last week of January 2021. "All the restaurant partners have been asked to ensure hygienic and contactless deliveries," Kriti Raj, public relations manager at RailRestro, told news agency ANI.

The company has laid down strict guidelines which include thermal scanning of the restaurant's staff and delivery personnel several times during the operational hours, sanitization of kitchens daily at regular intervals, use of protective face masks or face shields by restaurant staff and delivery personnel and permission to prepare food only if the body temperature is below 99 degree Fahrenheit.

The guidelines for their delivery staff has also been mentioned. These include collecting orders only after washing hands, mandatory use of 'Aarogya Setu' app by delivery personnel, contactless delivery to ensure zero human contact, constant use of protective face masks or covers and sanitization of delivery bags after each delivery.

"Due to lockdown, the e-catering industry has been affected for the last several months, as safety has been our priority as a nation. As the trains have started operating now and nationwide restaurants have been allowed to reopen by the government, we now also need to focus on e-catering for the convenience and safety of railway passengers," Rail Restro founder said, quoted ANI.

All of our restaurants have been sent safety measurement guidelines for hygienic food preparation and zero-contact food deliveries to ensure healthy and safe food on the train. We look forward to serving the passengers again by the end of January," Chandra added.

Till date, RailRestro has served more than 50 lakh meals on the trains. It has more than 2000 affiliated restaurants across the country

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