Though the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had recently booked two officials of northern railways for allegedly favouring private firms providing packaged drinking water of brands other than the mandatory ‘Rail Neer’, the sale of water of other brands is still being witnessed at the Ludhiana railway station.
As Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar railway stations fall under special category, packaged water of other brands cannot be sold here, but in collusion between rail officials and local packaged water manufacturers, the malpractice is going unchecked. According to the sources, some local leaders also influence the railway officials and vendors for their personal gains.
However, railway officials said they have asked the staff to ensure availability of Rail Neer water at the railway station.
Despite it being the responsibility of commercial inspectors to check sale of packaged drinking water and other eatables at railway stations and take action against violators, they have been favouring other brands.
The railways department has approved seven brands of packaged water to be sold at railway station. But, these can be sold only when Rail Neer is not available.
Contacted, senior division commercial manager (DCM) Roshan Singh said, “I have sent a letter to IRCTC to provide ‘Rail Neer’ at the station on regular-basis. I have also asked the officials concerned to keep a tab on the sale of packaged water at railway stations. We will keep a check on the sale of packaged water and will take stern action, if any irregularity is found.”