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Packaged water on trains: CBI books 2 former rail officials for corruption

The agency conducted searches at 13 locations, during which Rs 20 crore in cash and “incriminating” was recovered.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
October 17, 2015 2:46:51 am
Northern railways, Northern Railways officials, Northern railways packaged water scam, Northern railways CBI, CBI, packaged water scam, packaged water in trains, India latest news CBI said directions of Railway Board to ensure supply of “Rail Neer” in premium trains were ignored by the officials, causing undue pecuniary advantage to the private parties and corresponding loss to IRCTC.

The CBI on Friday registered cases against two former Northern Railways officials and seven private firms for alleged corruption in supply of packaged drinking water in premium trains. The agency conducted searches at 13 locations, during which Rs 20 crore in cash and “incriminating” was recovered.

The former Chief Commercial Managers (Passenger Services and Catering) M S Chalia and Sandeep Silas  allegedly showed favour to these firms by letting them supply cheap packaged drinking water instead of the mandatory ‘Rail Neer’ in premium trains, including Rajdhani. Silas has served as private secretary of a former Union Minister.

The agency also booked private companies R K Associates Pvt Ltd, Satyam Caterers Pvt Ltd, Ambuj Hotel and Real Estate, PK Associates Pvt Ltd, Sunsine Pvt Ltd, Brandavan Food Product and Food World under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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CBI spokesperson Devpreet Singh said the Railway Board had prescribed that IRCTC shall provide Rail Neer at Rs 10.50 (approx) per bottle to private caterers, who will then be paid Rs 15 (approx) per bottle for supplying them to passengers on premium trains.

However, the private suppliers were allegedly supplying cheap packaged water available for Rs 5.70 to 7.00 (approx) per bottle, thereby causing loss to the exchequer, the official said.

“The accused public servants allegedly did not take any action against the private parties providing catering services on premium trains,” he said. The official said IRCTC had written to the officials several times that the private cateres were not picking the allotted quota of Rail Neer.

CBI said directions of Railway Board to ensure supply of “Rail Neer” in premium trains were also ignored by the officials, causing undue pecuniary advantage to the private parties and corresponding loss to IRCTC.

“Searches were conducted  at 13 places in Delhi and Noida, which led to recovery of more than Rs 20 crore cash (approx) and a many  incriminating documents,” the spokesperson said.

Sources claimed that Rs 20 crore was recovered from the house of Shyam Bihari Agrawal and his sons Abhishek Agrawal and Rahul Agarwal, who own R K Associates and Brandavan Food Product.

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