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IRCTC adds ZoopIndia to deliver food to passengers; site doesn’t work


IRCTC has tied up with ZoopIndia, an online food delivery aggregator, which will let IRCTC passengers get food delivered from ZoopIndia to their train seats. Users can call for food or order through the website, but it requires a train PNR number or train name/number. ZoopIndia by default lets it’s users order food to be delivered to train stations and passenger seats.

Even on signing up, the ZoopIndia service doesn’t send a confirmation mail or accept the login on signing in. The site is so poorly executed that not a single button which calls to any action works. You can’t have them call you back, try logging in or order food for delivery from anywhere on the site. If you can place the order online we think it’s a miracle.

The press release even used words like “advanced technologies and systems” , “delightful customer experience”, “modernise Indian railways” and “take food delivery to the next level”. FYI, the food booking can also be done on IRCTC’s e-catering site.

ZoopIndia claims to have delivered 10,000 meals monthly across different train routes and is present in 100 stations across India. It has plans to deliver 5,000 meals daily (timeline not mentioned). The startup, which operates under Zoop Web Services Pvt Ltd, offers veg and non veg food in thalis, South Indian, Chinese and snack items. It also lets people cancel or change their orders 2 hours before the delivery time upto 8PM on a working day.

IRCTC’s previous good decisions

It’s unclear what value this tie up brings to IRCTC other than pain. It also stands out against IRCTC’s previous tie ups like Dominos Pizza, Pizza Hut and KFC, foodpanda, Travelkhana, Hello Curry which passengers might find convenient, even through initiatives like paying by Paytm, which claims to have a 100 million users. In February, IRCTC even tied up with OYO Rooms to launch an IRCTC hotel-booking page on OYO Rooms, offering its inventory to train travellers.

IRCTC’s recent developments:

– Late last month, the Ministry of Railways denied that there was any hacking on the IRCTC site or servers/databases. It added that the site was working normally without any unauthorized interference or discrepancies.

– In March, it was reported that users of Indian Railways would be able to cancel their train tickets by dialling 139 and presenting the one time password (OTP) sent to the mobile number to the rail counter to get a refund, from last month. However, that doesn’t seem to be rolled out yet.

– In February, IRCTC introduced e-bedroll, a paid service where train passengers can book the bedsheet top, bedsheet bottom, pillow and a fabric pack for their journey at Chennai and Trivandrum Central Railway Stations.

Image Credit: AbhiSuryawanshi under CC BY SA 3.0

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