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Lizard in meal: Indian Railways cancels license of accused contractor

New Delhi [India]: After a lizard was found in a meal served on the Poorva Express, the Indian Railways on Wednesday assured it has instantly responded to the matter and action has also been taken.

Speaking to ANI, Railway Spokesperson Anil Saxena said “This incident took place yesterday in12303 Howrah-New Delhi Poorva Express. The passenger, who ordered a vegetarian biryani found the reptile after consuming a few bites from the parcel. Right after that, he and his co-passenger tweeted on the Railway’s twitter handle explaining about the issue. Our team instantly responded and asked for details and also assured that his medical treatment will be looked into. He had also thanked us through a tweet. We will take action to improve as per the observations in CAG report”.

Hailing Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu’s initiation towards zero tolerance, Saxena stated that measures on bad quality of food and over charging have always been looked into.

“Currently, we have cancelled the license of the catering ‘contractor’ and will enquire about the matter. After Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, issued a zero tolerance towards bad quality of food and over charging; these kinds of issues has been under control. Earlier we have also cancelled many more licenses of the contractors being involved- till date we have done for eight of them,” Saxena said.

Further assuring to initiate a third party audit, Saxena added that the Railways will improve its monitoring system in all categories.

“After this issue, we will improve our monitoring system and assure to make revised measures. We are planning to initiate third party audit so that the quality of food improves and timing,” Saxena added.

Earlier in the day, a lizard was found in a meal served on the Poorva Express.

The DRM and other officials took cognizance of the issue, inquired about the health of the passenger and provided him with medicines.

The passenger then filed a complaint with the Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu through Twitter. The passenger told the media that he was provided the medication really late.

The Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) of Danapur division Kishor Kumar condemned the incident and assured a detailed enquiry in the matter.

Kumar further said that the department’s main concern was the health of the passengers.

Kumar said that the incident would be taken as a feedback of the railway system to improve the passenger services.

Last week, a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) revealed that unpurified water was being used to make beverages, rats and cockroaches were found in the pantry and food was being left out in the open among a number of other things.

Following which, the Ministry of Railways took to Twitter to establish the fact that the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has been mandated to carry out the unbundling by creating a distinction primarily between food preparation and food distribution.

The New Catering policy, which was issued on 27 February, also states that IRCTC is responsible for all issues pertaining to setting up and operation of kitchen units and quality of food.

The ministry said as per the new catering policy of 2017, the IRCTC will manage the services on all mobile units and pantry car contracts will be reassigned to the railways’ catering arm.

In addition to it, the policy also stated that all the food has to be picked up from IRCTC kitchen units only. (ANI)