The catering department of the Indian Railways was bombarded by social media users claiming corruption following a miscommunication caused by typos in a RTI reply in which prices of ingredients purchased by Central Railways were unbelievably high.
What did the RTI report say?
In response to an RTI filed by activist Ajay Bose, the Central Railways had said that 100-gram packets of Amul curd were purchased at Rs 1,49,19,934 crore that is Rs 972 per unit. It also revealed that refined oil was purchased at Rs 1,253 a litre, while tur dal and moong dal were purchased for Rs 157 per kilogram each. The report also showed that soft drinks and water bottles were also purchased at prices twenty to thirty times higher than their actual price.
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While a section of Twitterati mocked at Indian Railways and called it a scam, a few even took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Railway Catering Scam: 100gm Curd For Rs 972 And A Litre Of Refined Oil For Rs 1,241 https://t.co/BH4rX42YD8— Praveen Kumar Singh (@prvatsh) May 2, 2017
"1 Kg of Amul curd for Rs 9720/- only in #RailwaysScam.The next time Mr Modi talks of corruption-free India, show this," said Sanjay Jha, the Spokesperson of Congress.
BJP spokesperson Tajinder Bagga took to Twitter to clarify the price quotes stated by the RTI. "Rs 970 is price of carton having 108 curd cups. Now stop speaking lies & next time think 1000 times before speaking anything against Modi Govt," Bagga, in reply to Sanjay Jha's tweet.
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Bagga even clarified that the railways paid Rs 1,241 for each 15 litre tin.
Indian Railways clarifies
Later, senior Central Railways officers addressed the media about the incorrect information provided by the catering department.
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The Indian Railways has tweeted out that the railway board has taken the matter seriously and suspended three railway officials and transferred another with immediate effect.
It even clarified with the correct price of items like curd and refined oil.
Correct info is Rs 970 for a carton hving 108 curd cups i.e. Rs 8.9/100gm & Rs1241 for 15 litre tin of refined oil i.e. Rs 82.7/litre https://t.co/IdqzL9Plpf— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) May 2, 2017