Mehboob Rab inspects a food stall at Dhanbad station on Sunday. Picture by Gautam Dey
The East Central Railway (ECR) on Sunday pulled up operators of food stalls and pantry cars at Dhanbad station for lack of hygiene and imposed fines totalling to Rs 50,000 on errant contractors.
Chief commercial manager (ECR), Hazipur, Mehboob Rab, who arrived in Dhanbad from Bihar in the morning, conducted surprise inspections at food stalls and pantry cars and found several anomalies.
Accompanied by Dhanbad’s senior divisional commercial manager Dayanand, divisional commercial manager S.K. Lal and others, Rab first went to the platform No. 5 where the Dhanbad-Alappuzha Express had stationed for a while.
The senior railway official hopped on to the pantry car and carried out a thorough inspection that continued for over 45 minutes.
He detected gross violation of cleanliness norms. The cabin was dirty and food items littered the floor. He also checked utensils used and the quality of food cooked, and didn’t find them satisfactory.
According to railway officials at Dhanbad station, Rab appeared disappointed with the condition of the pantry car and slapped a fine of Rs 10,000 on its operator.
The team then went to platform No. 1, 2 & 3 and inspected around a dozen food stalls selling a wide variety of snacks, packaged water and tea.
Several brands of food products that are not listed with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation were found. Also, some stalls were found to be selling unlisted drinking water on the platforms No. 2 and 3.
The chief commercial manager expressed his displeasure over lack of cleanliness near the stalls. “You should maintain cleanliness near shops and report any kind of violation by passengers or anybody else to the railway protection force,” Rab told the shopkeepers.
He imposed fines to the tune of Rs 40,000 on different stalls on charges ranging from lack of cleanliness to selling unlisted products and expired food items.