The Central Railway on Tuesday issued a clarification over reports alleging that its catering department had purchased food items for multiple times its maximum retail price. The Railways said there had been several “typographical errors” in the RTI reply which had caused the confusion over the prices of food products.
“While preparing the computerised statement, an inadvertent typographical error occurred in the item [price] of Amul Curd in the month of Jan 2016,” DNA quoted a Central Railway statement. A corrected copy of the statement with the actual figures along with relevant copies had been provided to the RTI applicant, Railways added.
On Monday, The Hindu had reported, citing Railway’s reply to an RTI application filed by activist Ajay Bose, that the Railway had bought food items for several times more than the actual price. For example, a cup of curd was priced at Rs 972 or a litre of refined oil was bought for Rs 1,241, according to the RTI reply. Water bottles and soft drinks were bought for Rs 59 per bottle, and Tata Salt was bought for Rs 49 for one kg, though its original price was Rs 15 in March 2016, the report said.
“Correct information is Rs 970 for a carton having 108 curd cups, that is, Rs 8.9/100gm and Rs 1,241 for 15 litre tin of refined oil,” Ministry of Railways tweeted. It said there was no scam as alleged, but it was only “human error” in compiling the RTI reply due to which the miscommunication was created. “Action has been taken against the employees,” Railways said, while sharing the invoice of the purchase of curd.
“This RTI reply had 1200 pages. While making these replies there was negligence. We have initiated action and will make sure that this is not repeated,” Shailendra Kumar, chief commercial manager said, DNA reported.