New Delhi, Oct 2: The Indian Railways is never bereft of controversies. After 23 people were killed and more than 39 were injured in a stampede on the foot overbridge linking Mumbai's Elphinstone and Parel stations recently, the Indian Railways has once again hogged the limelight (for the wrong reasons) for serving contaminated juice to former railway minister Dinesh Trivedi on Shatabdi train enroute to Delhi on Saturday.
The entire incident was captured on camera by the television news channel, CNN- News18, where Trivedi was seen opening a pack of lemon juice filled with filth.
If a former railway minister is greeted with such unhygienic conditions on trains, especially in the premium category ones like the Shatabdi Express, imagine the plight of regular commuters who have to quietly undergo the trauma of eating unhygienic and tasteless food and water on trains.
According to CNN-News18 report, Trivedi boarded the Shatabdi to Delhi on Saturday and showed to the news channel the "dirty" lemon juice that was served to him.
"Today is Dussehra. I just opened the Fresca lime water and see what I found inside. Have a look at it. This is what we are supposed to drink," he said, showing the pack of juice full of dirt and flith inside.
The former minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader blamed the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the "rot" in the railways, including unhygienic conditions. Trivedi lamented that in spite of fares being increased so much, people don't get to drink safe and clean water on trains.
He added that commuters must protest against the poor facilities or they will continue to suffer. "We too are responsible for this as we do not protest enough. We take a shot of it, it runs in your channel, people will tweet it and railways will say this is what the company has given us," he said.
The former railway minister demanded that the government must cancel Fresca's contract. The catering wing of Indian Railways, IRCTC, delisted the juice brand after Trivedi demanded so for being served juice with filth.
IRCTC spokesperson Siddharth Singh said the railways has reacted to Trivedi's complaint swiftly and delisted the brand pending laboratory investigation. "We have delisted the agency pending lab investigation. The brand will not be seen any more on any train for the time being," he said.