The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday recovered Rs 20 crore in cash during searches at 13 locations against two former Northern Railways officials and seven private firms in connection with alleged corruption in supply of packaged drinking water other than the mandatory “Rail Neer” in premium trains.
According to CBI sources, a case was registered against the then Chief Commercial Managers (PS and Catering) of Northern Railways M.S. Chalia and Sandeep Silas. The Ministry of Railways had earlier suspended these two officials after the CBI raid.
CBI sources said the two government officials had favoured private companies, RK 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 in the supply of cheap package drinking water other than the mandatory “Rail Neer” in trains, including Rajhdhani and Shatabdi Express.
CBI spokesperson Devpreet Singh said the Railway Board had prescribed that IRCTC shall provide Rail Neer at a rate of Rs 10.50 (approx) per bottle to private caterers and the private caterers will be paid Rs 15 (approx) per bottle for supplying the same to passengers in premium trains. Private suppliers were allegedly supplying cheap packaged water, other than “Rail Neer”, available in the market at Rs 5.70 to Rs 7.00 (approx) per bottle, causing undue gain to themselves and loss to the exchequer.