CHENNAI: After a delay of about six months, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has floated tenders for catering facilities at four stations in the city, namely Chennai Beach, Velachery, Mylapore and Thiruvanmiyur.
Tenders were initially floated last December but had to be cancelled since the catering policy of Indian Railways was being revised. There was uncertainty over the contract period. “Now that the railway ministry has come up with the policy, tenders have yet again been called for,” an IRCTC official said. The bids will be opened on July 12, following which, work is likely to be completed in the next five months.
While Chennai Beach and Velachery are to have food plazas, which will be occupied by one or more brands, Mylapore and Thiruvanmiyur will have fast food units with comparatively less space on offer.
The proposed food plazas and fast food units are expected to cater to the needs of commuters, using the suburban railway system of the city. In addition, IRCTC has also pitched the idea of operating small food joints at three other stations on the Chennai Beach-Chengalpattu line. The identified stations are Nungambakkam, Pazhavanthangal and Paranur.
IRCTC conducted a survey and found these stations to have huge footfalls. “We have conveyed our proposal to Southern Railways who need to provide us with space. Following their concurrence, we will be able to initiate work on these food joints,” an official said.
Meanwhile, work on the food plaza at Tambaram station is almost complete. IRCTC officials say the plaza, spread over 5,000 square feet, is likely to be opened to the public by the end of this month. It has two components, located on East and West Tambaram sides. Well-known brands like McDonald’s, Saravana Bhavan, Adyar Ananda Bhavan and Madras Coffee House have taken up space in the food plaza.