Five years after nudging the Indian Rail Catering Trading Corporation (IRCTC) to improve the quality of food served on trains and railway platforms, the Delhi high court has admitted a fresh public interest litigation (PIL) on the issue.
The court has issued notices to the railway ministry, railway board chairman and health ministry.The PIL has demanded more effective measures to ensure that unadulterated and hygienic food was made available to passengers alleging "nothing much has changed" despite earlier court orders.
The authorities have to file a reply to the PIL by one Sardar Jagjit Singh, a retired railway food inspector, by October 31. His lawyer, KC Mittal, told the court that urgent measures were also required to guarantee safe food in restaurants, food plazas, staff canteens and other cooking units run by the railways.
The court, while passing orders in a similar PIL in August 2007, had asked the IRCTC to take drastic steps to improve the quality of catering services.
The IRCTC had repeatedly come under fire for poor condition of its kitchens in railway stations, pantry cars in trains, including Shatabdis and Rajdhanis, during the hearing of the earlier PIL.
“Nothing is being done to effectively implement the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 and food safety rule 2011,” he said.