Railways terminates contract of Rajdhani Express caterer after stale food makes six passengers fall ill

Arkadev Ghoshal
World's highest railway line coming up from Bilaspur to Leh via Manali in India

RK Associates, the firm catering for passengers of the Delhi-Sealdah Rajdhani Express, has been served a termination notice and also asked to give an explanation on the poor-quality food it served to the passengers on the night of Monday, March 27, aboard the train that reportedly made six people fall ill.

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Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu apprised the parliament of the development after a question was raised on the matter in the House. 

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'Spoilt food'

According to local reports, several of the passengers had complained on Monday night that the dinner they had received at Kanpur had gone bad. While some complained that their food smelt off — like it had been spoilt — others tasted it to confirm so. Some even complained of insects in their food. Nevertheless, a handful of people were hungry enough to consume the whole thing. 

Only on Tuesday (March 28) morning did the effects of this food become apparent: Six passengers fell ill. When the train stopped at Asansol in Bengal, the passengers alighted and protested. They continued their protest after the train reached its destination on Tuesday. 

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Contract terminated

Prabhu, who is generally prompt when confronted with such situations, said in parliament on Wednesday, March 29, that the catering contract of RK Associates had been terminated, with the spectre of being blacklisted looming large over the catering agency. 

RK Associates has also been given 15 days time to explain how such "spoilt" food had been served in the coaches numbered B8 and B9 of the elite train. The Railways is also probing the case. 

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