Developed ulcers and urine problem: Train passenger who found dead lizard in biryani
Allahabad High Court advocate Santosh Kumar Singh said he had eaten three or four spoonfuls of the biryani while travelling on the train yesterday when he spotted the dead lizard in it.india Updated: Jul 26, 2017 22:35 IST
A passenger who found a dead lizard in the vegetable biryani he had ordered on a Delhi- bound train on Wednesday said he had developed mouth ulcers and had trouble urinating a day after he ate a part of the rice dish.
Allahabad High Court advocate Santosh Kumar Singh said he had eaten three or four spoonfuls of the biryani while travelling on the train yesterday when he spotted the dead lizard in it.
“I felt nauseated. My co-passenger quickly took pictures and posted them on Twitter,” Singh told PTI.
Responding to the Tweets, the Railways today terminated the contract of caterers R K Associates for the Howrah-New Delhi Poorva Express.
“In view of the Railway’s zero tolerance policy towards poor quality and overcharging of food, the railway administration has terminated the contract,” spokesperson A K Saxena told PTI.
Singh, who was travelling from Deoghar to Allahabad, said he started feeling unwell soon after he had eaten the biryani, but claimed he was not given adequate medical treatment for eight hours.
He underwent a health check-up in Patna and Buxar in Bihar, and at Mughalsarai in UP, where senior rail officers were also present, officials said.
His co-passenger Meghna Sinha posted a series of tweets with pictures of the veg-biryani, tagging both Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu and his ministry.
“@RailMinIndia lizard found in biryani...passenger feeling unwell after eating and no first aid available,” she tweeted.
Singh said he planned to file a PIL in a court against the caterer.
“My mouth is full of ulcers and I have trouble urinating. I have consulted a doctor and have to go for another consultation,” he said.
R K Associates has been catering for Indian Rail for several years now and is among the biggest private food vendors in the Railways. It was given the catering contract for Poorva Express on May 15, 2014, for five years.
Senior rail officials said the caterer told the Railways the passenger’s biryani packet did not have a lizard in it, but a piece of a leftover fish.
His contract was terminated with immediate effect.
The caterer had been fined Rs 10 lakh last year and Rs 7.5 lakh this year, the ministry said in a Tweet. It was fined for serving substandard food.
The spokesperson said that in the last six months, the administration had terminated the contracts of eight catering units.
“It is unprecedented the number of contracts that we have terminated in the past six months. In the last year, 16 such contractors were also blacklisted. We have also financially penalised the offenders,” Saxena said.
The incident comes days after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) slammed the railways for its food, saying it was “unfit for human consumption”.
Minister Prabhu has also directed the Rail administration to conduct special catering drives across the railway network starting today.
Officials have been instructed to inspect pantries and base kitchens and take corrective measures wherever necessary.
R K Associates on its website said it had been catering for the Railways for the past two decades.