NEW DELHI: In a stinging indictment of the quality of the food served at railway stations, a report by Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on Friday said that articles unsuitable for human consumption, contaminated and recycled food, shelf life expired packaged and bottled items were among the items that were being sold on railway stations in the country.
The audit report also observed that though a complaint redressal system has been put in place, “there is no reduction in the number of complaints over the years”. It stressed that the major share of complaints pertained to overcharging and quality issues. The CAG’s report on catering services in Indian Railways for the year ending March 2016 said that frequent changes in catering policy have created a state of uncertainty in management of catering services provided to the passengers.
The report noted that zonal railways did not ensure provision of pantry cars in a number of long distance trains and their absence attracts unauthorised vendors in trains and sale of unhygienic and unhealthy food products.
As per the report, a joint inspection was carried out at 74 stations and 80 trains to assess the adequacy of hygienic and good quality food at stations and in train.
“Cleanliness and hygiene were not being maintained at catering units at stations and in trains. Unpurified water straight from tap was used in preparation of beverages, waste bins were not found covered, food stuff were not covered to protect them from flies, insects and dust, rats and cockroaches were found in trains etc,” the report said.