The CAG on Friday came down heavily on the Railways saying that cleanliness and hygiene were not being maintained in catering units at stations and in trains and it was serving foodstuff unsuitable for human consumption.“During the inspection at selected 74 stations and 80 trains, audit noticed that cleanliness and hygiene were not being maintained at catering units at stations and in trains,” the Comptroller and Auditor General of India said in a report tabled in Parliament on Friday.
“Articles unsuitable for human consumption, contaminated foodstuff, recycled foodstuff, shelf life expired packaged and bottled items, unauthorized brands of water bottles etc were offered for sale on stations,” the CAG said.
The report also stated that unpurified water straight from the 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 CAG also pointed out that bills were not given for the food items served in mobile units in trains. “Printed menu cards with tariff for the rate list of food items sold in the mobile units were not available with waiters and catering managers in trains,” it said.
The report also highlighted that the food stuff served was less than the prescribed quantity, unapproved packaged drinking water was sold, proprietary article depot items were sold at railway stations at maximum retail price with weight and prices different from the open market and per unit of food articles sold in railway premises was significantly higher.
The CAG said that deficiencies in respect of quality of food served were also noticed.