Railway Catering Scam: 100gm Curd for Rs.972, Refined Oil for Rs.1,241 a Litre

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A recent application filed a second appeal under the Right to Information (RTI) Act by an activist has revealed that the Central Railway's catering department purchased certain food items to stock their warehouses at several times the maximum retail price.

After railway authorities failed to share information on the purchase of food items sought in his RTI application, activist Ajay Bose filed the first appeal. The response to this revealed that each kg of Amul curd was purchased at an eye-watering ₹9,720. Mr. Bose had filed his query after learning that the catering department was running at a huge loss.

“I filed the application in July 2016, but didn’t get a reply from CR. It appeared they wanted to cover something up. I filed an appeal and the appellate authority show-caused the railways asking them to provide details sought by me within 15 days. Despite this, there was no reply even after several months,” Mr. Bose told The Hindu .

Realising that the department concerned was intentionally ignoring his appeal, Mr. Bose filed a second one. “This time, I received a reply with details, which were shocking: they purchased 100 grams of curd, which costs ₹25, for ₹972. In fact, the railways had bought most items at costs much than their MRP.”

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Mr. Bose alleged the railways was incurring losses due to such scams. “I was provided with details after a long wait, and information for only a few months was shared though I had wanted it for a full year. Commodities like a chicken with bone, tur dal, moong dal, besan and even tissue paper have been purchased at inflated costs.”

As per the reply, other commodities procured by the railways included 58 litres of refined oil for ₹72,034 in March 2016, or a litre of refined oil for ₹1,241. It also bought 150 packets of Tata Salt for ₹2,670, or ₹49 per packet instead of its then MRP of ₹15, water bottles and soft drinks were for ₹59 per bottle.

A few items, however, were procured at the correct rates including samosas, onions and potatoes.

News Courtesy: The Hindu

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