| Bapudham Motihari railway station. Picture by Ajit Kumar Verma |
Patna, July 31: The railways has decided to open a 24-hour food plaza at Bapudham Motihari station to honour English novelist George Orwell.
Orwell, famous for his novels Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, was born in the north Bihar town in 1903.
Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) would build the food plaza on public-private partnership (PPP) mode and construction for the same would start from mid-August.
Preferring anonymity, a senior official of IRCTC, corporate office, New Delhi, told The Telegraph: “Soon, passengers at Bapudham Motihari would enjoy a variety of delicacies and beverages at the multi-cuisine food plaza.”
About the reason of setting up the food plaza, the official added: “It is being done to pay tribute to George Orwell who was born there. If Motihari town has made any identification at world level it was just because of this writer. The exact name of the restaurant is yet to be decided but it would be something like George Orwell Food Plaza.”
The plaza would serve fast food items, north Indian and south Indian dishes, snacks, beverages and ice cream. The plaza would remain open round the clock for travellers.
Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pen name George Orwell, was born in Motihari on June 25, 1903 and his house has already been declared a protected site by the state government.
What also connects the town is Mahatma Gandhi’s “Satyagraha”.
Gandhi first visited Motihari in 1917. The name of the railway station was also changed to Bapudham Motihari as tribute to his “karmabhoomi”.
The railway station, around 160km north of Patna, provides direct train to Porbandar and around 50 express and passenger trains pass through it and on an average it receives around 15,000-20,000 passengers daily.
Sharing details on the upcoming project, the official said: “It would come up just outside the railway station and would be spread across 1,600sqft. Around 100 passengers can comfortably seat and enjoy their meal; there would be takeaway facility as well. An agency has already been selected and the total cost of the project would be around Rs 20 lakh.”
Unlike the existing station food stalls with limited food options, passengers will get a wide range of snacks like dosas, pizzas and burgers.
Food courts and food plazas are being opened at various stations with an aim of giving a facelift to stations and also to serve hygienic food. Rate of the food Items would be fixed to fit the budget of all kind of passengers.
The railways have planned food hubs at 40 locations, including Samastipur, Muzaffarpur, Hajipur, Raxaul, Danapur, Katihar, Saharsa, Darbhanga and Begusarai, under East Central Railway.
About the date of completion of this project, the official said: “Within six months, the food plaza would be ready for passengers. Half of the portion of the food plaza would be open space where passenger can seat under big garden umbrellas.”