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Bad food defeats Indian Army

Kapda and makaan are not big issues but roti surely is in the 1.13-mn strong army, reports Rahul Singh.

delhi Updated: Aug 09, 2007 06:31 IST
Rahul Singh

They say the army marches on its stomach but it would be pretty hard if that stomach is not fed suitably. Randomly ask any officer about the quality of rations supplied by the army. Chances are he will tell you it’s dreadful and he prefers passing it on to his domestic help. This is not hyperbole: soldiers are sick of substandard rations.




are not really big issues but


surely is in the 1.13-million strong army, which has faced huge embarrassment after Army Service Corps (ASC) generals were indicted in cereal and meat scams.

Apparently word has gotten around and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) wants to set things right so that troops get a better deal. After getting the government to substantially raise the high-altitude allowance for troops, Defence Minister AK Antony is now aiming to feed the army better-quality rations.

At a meeting held at the South Block on Wednesday, Antony is believed to have told the army’s top brass, including its chief General JJ Singh, that there should be no compromise on the quality of rations given to the troops. The Army’s Quarter Master General made a detailed presentation to the defence minister on different aspects of rations. <b1>

It is learnt that the defence ministry is in favour of streamlining the existing procedures for local purchase of rations to address issues of quality, quantity and variety. Soldiers are entitled to 600 gm of rice/flour, 90 gm of oil, 90 gm of cereals, 110 gm of meat and specified quantity of fresh vegetables. Over and above officers get cheese, butter, jam and two eggs daily.