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Railways eyes education institutions for food management

After losing a major portion of food business to railways, IRCTC is now eyeing educational institutes for food and facility management. The corporation is already running a cafeteria in Chandra Shekhar Azad University of Agriculture and Technology, Kanpur since July 2011. The idea is to start a similar facility in IET, Sitapur Road, Lucknow.

"It's being done under diversification plan," said Manoj Sinha, chief regional manager, IRCTC, Lucknow. The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation will be starting the facility management in educational institutes all over the country. As of now, IRCTC is only responsible for running food plaza and food courts.

The diversification plan aims to employ the expertise of IRCTC , and to make it profitable for the corporation. There is a plan to start catering facilities in some of the government educational institutes in Allahabad also. It's not just the food which the IRCTC will provide, but the management of the hostel, laundry, security might also be on the cards.

The institues will have to pay a fixed amount to IRCTC for rendering the services. The amount will be fixed after mutual agreement. "The best thing is it will provide hygienic food and qualified services," said the official. This is being done under facility management. The menu will also be decided upon jointly.

The facility has started at a university in Punjab and an institute in Jaipur. Besides, in days to come, IRCTC will also run 'dhabas' at petrol pumps. IRCTC Lucknow has entered into an agreement with a Bharat Petroleum petrol pump at Malwa Fatehpur between Allahabad and Kanpur where it will open the dhaba.