Retiring rooms at stations across the country will undergo a major revamp with Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) planning to introduce an array of facilities for travelling passengers, ranging from air-conditioning of rooms to provision of Wi-Fi and aesthetically designed washrooms.
Indian Railways currently manages around 2,000 retiring rooms/dormitories located at more than 600 stations. The facility is meant to provide reasonable and safe transit accommodation to bona fide railway passengers, who can book a retiring room for a maximum of 72 hours.
“We are in the process of floating tenders to engage reputed service providers for the maintenance, expansion and introduction of new facilities in retiring rooms on the PPP and ROT (Renovate-Operate- Transfer) model,” IRCTC Chairman and Managing Director Dr A K Mocha said . “Renovation work will be carried out in a phased manner. To begin with, retiring rooms/dormitories located at around 400 AI and A category stations will be taken up to provide upgraded services to rail passengers,” he informed.
The Railway Minister, in his 2016-17 budget speech, had announced that “retiring rooms will be handed over to IRCTC to ensure that these can be managed in a professional manner.”The revamped retiring rooms will boast facilities like quality mattresses and linen, almirah / locker for luggage, LED TV, telephone and intercom, firefighting equipment, potable water and room heaters. All rooms are to be well furnished, properly lit and air-conditioned. Washrooms are to be aesthetically designed with modern facilities. There will also be provision for wheel chairs for senior citizens and handicapped persons.
IRCTC is also planning to provide some value added services on payment basis, such as food and beverage services in rooms, tour and travel services with local sightseeing, magazines and books, laundry facility, Internet, STD/ISD and Wi-Fi connectivity in the premises. It will alsoensure retailing of journey conveniences and travel requirements like gifts and toys. To top it all, there will be bell boy / porter service for luggage handling.
“IRCTC intends to provide an upgraded retiring room complex on lines of guesthouses with more personalised services and expanded food and beverage services,” he said, adding: “We will bring industry expertise to undertake the refurbishing work of
the retiring room complexes.”Currently, the facilities in retiring rooms include AC and non AC rooms with attached/common bathrooms, AC and non-AC dormitories with common bathrooms, limited food and beverages services, and lockers.
“The upgraded retiring rooms will be a step in the direction of profitably using available resources, providing better facilities to passengers in transit and also improving the image of the Railways,” Dr. Manocha said.
Reservation of retiring rooms can be made through counters available at railway stations as also through online booking facility available at www.irctc.co.in.