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Posted at: Jul 26, 2017, 12:11 AM; last updated: Jul 26, 2017, 12:11 AM (IST)

Rail Neer unavailable, passengers get water of suspicious brands

Rail Neer unavailable, passengers get water of suspicious brands
Water bottles of other brands being sold at the Bathinda railway station. Tribune photo: Pawan Sharma

Sukhmeet Bhasin

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, July 25

The Railways is facing shortage of packaged drinking water, produced and supplied by the Indian Railway Corporation for Tourism and Catering (IRCTC), under the brand name ‘Rail Neer’.

Due to the shortage, vendors have started selling water bottles of other brands with suspected authenticity at the railway station.

If Rail Neer is unavailable then the Railways should direct the vendors to sell good brand water bottles, they said.

This question was raised after the CAG tabled a report in Parliament, pointing out that the Railways is selling food and water, which is unfit for humans.

Contaminated, recycled and expired foodstuff and unauthorised brands of water bottles are offered for sale on station premises and trains across the country, it was pointed.

According to industry estimates, IRCTC, a public sector undertaking, under the Ministry of Railways, produces around 6.14 lakh bottles of Rail Neer (1 litre capacity) every day at three plants located at Palur in Chennai, Nangloi in Delhi and Danapur in Bihar, against the requirement of 30 lakh bottles.

Sources claim that the consumption of bottled water has gone up these days due to the hot weather.

As the production capacity of three plants is same, the IRCTC has failed to meet the required demand.

The railway authorities have directed the vendors at the Bathinda railway station to sell water bottles of other private companies.

A vendor, while talking to Bathinda Tribune, said, “There has been a shortage of Rail Neer bottles for the last many days. We have been authorised to sell water bottles of other brands.”

Sakshi Garg, a passenger, said, “Water bottles of unknown brands are being sold at the railway station. Railway officials should directed the vendors to sell water bottles of reputed brands as this issue is linked with the health of the passengers.”

Another passenger Satnam Singh said it was surprising that vendors at the railway station were selling water bottles of Aglow and Mania companies instead of brands such as Kinley, Bisleri and Aquafina.

Even the purity of Rail Neer has also been questioned, he added.

Railways commercial manager MR Khan said, “Earlier, the Rail Neer supply was stopped but today, we have received the supply. From tomorrow, it will be sold at the railway station.”

“It is mandatory to sell only Rail Neer water bottles in the trains. First preference is given on serving Rail Neer in the trains. Later, it is provided to vendors at railway stations,” he added.

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