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'Rail Neer' racket: CBI seizes Rs 20 crore during raids; two former Railway officials charged

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has recovered Rs 20 crore in cash during searches at 13 locations against two former Chief Commercial Managers (Catering), Northern Railways officials and seven private firms in connection with alleged corruption in supply of packaged drinking water other than mandatory 'Rail Neer' in premium trains.

The CBI conducted searches on premises of these private firms based in Delhi and Noida. These firms were providing their product to premium trains including Shatabdi and Rajdhani Express after coming to an agreement to do so with the help of the accused managers, according to the probe agency.

Among the firms that have been accused in the corruption scandal are family owned RK Aggarwal Pvt Ltd and Brindavan Food Products, both based in Delhi. Some of the money was recovered from the residence of the owners of the private firms.

The Railway Board had prescribed that IRCTC shall provide 'Rail Neer' at Rs 10.50 per bottle to the private caterers who in return would be paid rupees 15 per bottle for supplying the same to the passengers in premium trains, the officials said.

However, the private caterers in order to acquire undue profit were allegedly supplying cheap PDW brands instead of 'Rail Neer' which were available in the market at Rs 5.70-7 per bottle. The CBI said the total amount of loss to the exchequer is yet to be calculated.