Published: Sat, July 22, 2017
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Food served in Railways 'Unsuitable for Human Consumption', says CAG report

Food served in Railways 'Unsuitable for Human Consumption', says CAG report

This has led to a "short payment" of Rs. 7,697.6 crore to the government, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India said on Friday.

According to a Times of India, the report said that food items, contaminated foodstuff, recycled foodstuff, packaged and bottled items past their shelf life.

"Hygiene and cleanliness in respect of the food stuff served was not ensured by the railways on stations and in trains as observed in the joint inspections undertaken by Audit along with railways".

"Unpurified water straight from tap was used in preparation of beverages, waste bins were not found covered, not emptied regularly and not washed, food stuff were not covered to protect them from flies, insects and dust, rats and cockroaches were found in trains etc", the report claims.

Unfair practices were being followed in the execution of catering services at stations and trains. A recent report, however, says that the food served in the railways is quite sub-standard, even unsafe. "Neither were bills provided to passengers for food items served in trains, nor printed menu cards with tariff for the list of items sold in the mobile units were available with waiters and catering managers in any of the trains inspected". "Thus, while the objective of collecting electronic data of axle load, aimed at preventing overloading, could not be achieved, the expenditure of Rs 1.85 crore also remained unfruitful", CAG said in the report.

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The report went on to cite many other such cases where the food items were either overpriced or were below the prescribed weight.

The audit has found that due to the change in the catering taxation policy of the Railways, the management of the catering service is also facing difficulties and due to this, the passengers are not getting the right facility.

The auditor in its report also said that low-priced janta meals should be provided to the passengers at stations.

During a passenger satisfaction survey, 36% felt that they were being overcharged for the food, and 21% that the rates were not reasonable.

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