A CAG report tabled in Parliament on Friday has found severe deficiencies in the catering services of the Indian Railways, with several stations and trains serving food items “unfit for human consumption”, unpurified tap water being used for food preparation, and food being left unprotected from insects and rats.
During the joint inspection of the selected 74 stations and 80 trains over Zonal Railways, the audit found that cleanliness and hygiene standards were not being maintained in the catering units at stations and on trains.
The CAG also found unfair trade practices at stations and in trains. Bills were not provided for the food items served on trains; waiters and catering managers on the trains didn’t carry printed menu cards with tariffs, etc.
The report also found the weight and prices of the items sold at railway stations were different from the open market, and that the unit price of food articles sold in railway premises was significantly higher. For example, during a joint inspection in Allahabad station, it was found that chips of the brand ‘Lays’ of the identical weights were sold at Rs. 18 at the station, while only at Rs. 10 outside the railway station.
About Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG):
Article 148 of the Constitution of India provides for an independent office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). He is the head of the Indian Audit and Accounts Department.
The duty of the CAG is to uphold the Constitution of India and laws of Parliament in the field of financial administration. It audits all receipts and expenditure of the Government of India and the state governments, including those of bodies and authorities substantially financed by the government.
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar said that the CAG shall be the most important Officer under the Constitution of India.
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Indian Polity by Laxmikanth