NEW DELHI: With the nationwide lockdown extended to May 3, the Ministry of Railways has offered to supply 2.6 lakh meals daily from various railway kitchens 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.
According to an official statement issued on Wednesday, details of zone wise kitchen in-charges have also been communicated to the States. The offer of 2.6 lakh meals per 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. These meals will be available at just a cost basis at Rs 15 per meal. Payments settlement can be done by the State governments at a later stage, said the ministry.
As per the statement, the 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 the COVID-19.
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 lakh hot cooked meals distributed to people vulnerable to hunger due to the pandemic and lockdowns like stranded persons, daily wage laborers, migrants, children, coolies, homeless, the poor and many who form the floating population.
The ministry said the IRCTC kitchens gearing up to serve the needy persons in case of demand include Gaya, Mugalsarai, Rajindra 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.