KERALA

Food plaza to open tomorrow

BOOSTING TOURISM PROSPECTS: The multi-cuisine food plaza of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporaiton that is getting ready for commissioning at Thiruvananthapuram Central railway station. Photo: S. Gopakumar  



S. Anil Radhakrishnan

Aimed at facilitating and promoting rail tourism by providing quality food

Thiruvananthapuram: A multi-cuisine, multi-outlet, food plaza, set up by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC) a public sector undertaking under Indian Railways on the premises of the Thiruvananthapuram Central station will start functioning from Monday.

With a built-up area of 4,000 square feet, the three-storeyed food plaza has been set up next to Kerala Tourism's Information Centre on Platform one of the station. The 24-hour plaza would offer both self-service and `sit-down meal' options.

To match the grandeur of the station building, the authorities have decided to provide a traditional yet modern ambience to the plaza interior.

Photographs depicting the old railway station and those of visits by VVIPs would be displayed on the walls.

The ground floor, which has an area of 1,350 square feet, would have multi-outlet food counters of reputed hotel chains and confectionaries. Snacks, noodles, juice, sweets and vegetarian and non-vegetarian food would be made available at the plaza.

Another novel feature of this section would be a `Thattukada,' which will provide traditional Kerala food like `chiratta puttu' and `appam.'

The second floor will house air-conditioned vegetarian and non-vegetarian restaurants and the top floor, the modern kitchen. The outlets have been leased out to private firms for 12 years. The menu to be provided in the food plaza has been approved by the IRCTC.

The working of the plaza and the daily earnings would be monitored by the corporation.

"The plaza, the third in the railway division, would be thrown open to diners on Monday.

The two floors of the plaza would be able to accommodate 120 diners," J. Vinayan, regional manager of the corporation, told The Hindu .

Along with this, `Dial-A-Meal' scheme is being introduced from the food plaza. Commuters can call `5535555' and order meals that would be served in coaches. "The facility will be extended to other plazas in the division," the official said.

The food plazas are not a revenue generating exercise but an endeavour to facilitate and promote rail tourism by providing quality food prepared in hygienic conditions, he said.

Already, food plazas have come up in Shoranur, Thrissur and Ernakulam South.

The food plaza being set up at Ernakulam North would be commissioned before the end of this month.