Indian Railways, the statutory body under the Ministry of Railways of the Government of India (GoI), is encouraging the digital means of making payment transactions for purchasing meals via railway stations’ catering units since 8,878 static units can already accept payments online. The rail transport company has an objective to support the Digital India program.
Furthermore, portable Point of Sale (PoS) devices are available at the catering units to print out invoices and bills that include all transactional information and deal with complaints regarding overcharging and cheating. Currently, about 596 trains have 3,081 PoS devices available on them. According to the Ministry of Railways, PoS devices are installed in 4,316 static units.
The Ministry of Railways stated that Indian Railways launched the e-catering services to increase the number of choices made available to customers traveling in trains. The Indian public sector railway company, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (NSE: IRCTC), oversees the e-catering services. When purchasing an electronic ticket or traveling by rail, passengers can pre-order their preferred food items via a mobile application, website, dialing 1323, or call center. Currently, 310 railway stations offer e-catering services via 14 food aggregators and 1755 service providers, providing an average of 41,844 meals every day.
In the meantime, Indian Railways is attempting to reduce logistics costs to a lower limit. Recent railway infrastructure development projects, including railroad tracks, have received significant support, clearly indicating the trend. Compared to the previous year, the pace of progression on railroad track projects, such as building new lines, multi-tracking, and track gauge conversion, has accelerated by about 3 times.
The Indian Government’s crown jewel program, the Digital India initiative, aims to bring about a digital transformation in the country. Indian Railways is promoting this initiative in a big way by facilitating the digital method of making payment transactions for railway travelers.