A DAY after the video of a man drawing water out of an overhead tank at a railway stall in Kurla station, to make lemon juice, went viral, the Central Railway has decided to inspect more than 200 stalls in the Mumbai division. It will later extend the drive to all five divisions of the Central Railway. The drive will start from March 27.
The authorities have sent samples of the water and the lemon juice to a laboratory to screen it for contamination. On Monday, the video of a man making lemon juice, allegedly with contaminated water at Kurla station, went viral.
On Tuesday, the authorities sealed the stall, Chantoo Lal and Sons. A senior official said samples of the lemon juice were collected and sent to a laboratory in Dadar for testing.
Sunil Udasi, chief public relations officer, Central Railway, said, “Two samples of the lemon juice have been sent to National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL). We have also initiated a special drive to check the quality of food and beverages sold at stalls in railway stations. A report from the lab is expected in four to five days, and we will take action accordingly.”
Another senior official said a team, including medical officers, officials of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and commercial members of the Central Railway, will start intensive inspection of stalls located on railway stations in all five divisions, including Mumbai, Nagpur, Solapur, Pune and Bhusaval.
Sources from Central Railway said there were more than 240 stalls in Mumbai division. According to a letter issued by the Central Railway, “Inspection team will check hygiene, FSSAI certification, pest control, potable water used for making food, waste management and raw materials used for making the food.” Sources added that the vendor owned three stalls at Kurla station and the third generation of the family was running the stall.
Subhash Gupta, president, Rail Yatri Parishad, said, “Kurla station does not have a water vending machine. The railways should install one, so that people can drink clean water. Many stations under Central Railway don’t have drinking water forcing passengers to depend on stalls.”