In a rather shocking news that recently made headlines everywhere is the recent report by The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India about the Indian Railways. The CAG in its report has said in its audit report that the food served by the Indian Railways to its passengers is unfit for consumption by humans.
So, before we come to the CAG report about their finding, lets understand what “unfit for human consumption” really means.
-meat or other food considered by a qualified food inspector to be unsuited for entry into the human food chain because of the presence of disease, immaturity, physical damage, emaciation, edema, contamination by gut contents or unauthorized additives or being meat of another, unauthorized species, or meat that has not undergone approved inspection by health authorities.
Now that’s dreadful. Is our Government concern?
CAG REPORT ON RAILWAYS FOOD: THINGS TO KNOW
-Joint inspections by audit teams exposed inefficiency and malpractices relating to hygiene even a survey by the audit exposed that 75 per cent of the passengers felt hygiene and cleanliness was either average or poor.
-The CAG has pointed out the shocking reality that the articles that are being provided at railway stations and in trains are unfit for human consumption.
-Fruit juices, biscuits and flavoured milk being sold at railway stations were found to be unsuitable for human consumption in the inspection by CAG team.
-The CAG also said that contaminated food stuff, recycle foodstuffs, expired packages and bottled items, unauthorised brands of water bottles were accepted and offered for sale inside station premises and trains.
-It was found that purified water was not available at 21 stations across 11 railways zones. Dirty water was being used for beverages like coffee, tea and soups in 22 trains.
-Water used for cooking purposes was not purified. The general railway water supply was being used for cooking in some trains. No hand gloves and caps were being used in the kitchen at 32 stations across 13 railway zone.
-Food infested with flies insects and was found in one of the inspections. Food was not covered to protect from flies insects and dust in three stations. Cockroaches and rats were also seen in pantry cars in trains including Duronto Express.
-On one occasion, a passenger of the Lucknow-Anand Vihar double decker train ordered a cutlet only to receive it with an iron nail inside it.
-Unsold paranthas were being recycled in the base kitchen in trains including on Kanpur-Delhi express. The CAG said that there seemed to be no mechanism to check that waste food was not recycled.
The CAG also said that the complaint redress system is defunct. Even though the number of complaints has not reduced, no action has been taken over the years. Major complaints regarding catering services in the trains are related to overcharging and poor quality of food, the CAG report said.
Hoping that the Indian Railways and the Government of India takes necessary initiative to curb this issue and regain the trust of the Indian public.