Indian Railways Dept sack food contractor after issue raised in Rajya Sabha

Indian Railways Dept sack food contractor after issue raised in Rajya Sabha

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New Delhi: Having the several complaints about the quality of food in Swarna Jayanti Ahmedabad Rajdhani over the last few months, the Indian Railways sacked the catering contractor, claims report in leading daily The Indian Express. The decision was taken after a BJP MP Shankarbhai Vegad from Gujarat raised the issue in the Rajya Sabha. Swarna Jayanti Ahmedabad Rajdhani is generally used by MPs from the state (who are almost from ruling Bharatiya Janata Party) as well as other states’ BJP and RSS functionaries and businessmen. According to the reports of the daily, 133 complaints were recorded regarding the food quality of the train in seven months.

Varanasi-based Ambuja Caterers had been slapped by the zonal railways with repeated financial penalties. As per the reports of the daily, in the last six months, the combined penalty amounted to Rs 9.5 lakh which is the higher amount for any catering contractor till date. Of this amount, about Rs 8.3 lakh has been realised.

The daily quoted sources saying the catering contractor put forth political pressure on Railways to save their contract. The Ambuja caterers cited close ties with Bharatiya Janata Party bigwigs, including a senior Union Cabinet minister.

Shankarbhai Vegad, the MP who raised the issue in Rajya Sabha also met Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and sought a pardon for the contractor on the plea that more than 100 employees would be rendered jobless. While talking to Indian Express, Shankarbhai Vegad said,“All MPs from Gujarat had given feedback in writing that the quality had improved in the past couple of months and that we would not want to rob poor people of their livelihood. I had only asked for improvement in service in the train.”

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