Mumbai: In an exciting news for Indian travelers, Indian Railway Catering Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC) is soon planning to bring a next-generation system of lodging for railway passengers – the pod hotels!

Pod hotels were first developed in Japan and had attracted the world’s attention with their compact accommodation system.

Where will the project come up?

Mumbai Central railway station has been chosen for setting up this innovative project and two non-air-conditioned waiting rooms at the station will soon be turned into Indian Railways’ first pod hotel, which will provide affordable accommodation for passengers.

IRCTC which is planning to construct 30 pods at the Mumbai Central station, floated tenders for the same on Thursday. As per reports, the tendering process for the construction of pods has begun and the hotel service is scheduled to launch by December 2020.

If this project is successful, IRCTC will replicate the model in cities other than Mumbai. Notably, Mumbai already has the country’s first pod capsule hotel, namely, Urbanpod which was opened in Andheri in the year 2017.

Here are some of its features:

-Pod hotels provide cheap, basic overnight accommodation for people who don’t want larger, more expensive rooms in hotels and the idea is to let passengers who have a layover for a small time rest

-This pod hotel will basically cover an area of roughly 4000-5000 sq ft and it will consist of 30 concise and ultra-modern ‘capsules’ or rooms

-Each pod will be 5 ft x 7 ft with amenities like bed, pillows, blankets, lights, AC conditioning, WiFi, a small TV, lockers and USB ports.

-The hotel will collectively also have a common lounge, multiple washrooms and a cafeteria.

-The rent for these pod hotels will be in fact lower than the railway retiring rooms. The rates might be around Rs 2,500 but nothing’s been decided yet

-There will be three types of this pod hotel: Classic Pod, Private Pod and Suite Pod.

-The pods will provide accommodation to passengers up to 12 hours.