Food crisis at station as RPF nabs vendors

ALLAHABAD: Passengers at some of the platforms of Allahabad railway junction faced problem getting food items as most of the vending stalls were closed on Monday. RPF (Railway Protection Force) personnel arrested about 12 vendors from different platforms of Allahabad junction after they failed to show health certificate required to carry on business on the premises.

According to reports, Railway Protection Force personnel reached the vending stalls located at various platforms of the Allahabad junction. They asked vendors to show the certificate to prove food they were selling was healthy and fit for consumption. When they failed to show the certificate, the vendors were arrested.

The place at which food is cooked and run by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) was also closed after most of the vendors escaped from the scene. Railway department issues health certificate every year to authorised railway vendors at the station selling food and other items. These certificates are issued after inspection and the certificate is valid for only one year its term ending on March 31.

Since most of the vendors were operating without getting their health certificates renewed, RPF personnel reached their stalls and ordered their closure. Passengers were the worst hit by the closure of food stalls at the Allahabad railway junction as they were unable to buy eatables. As a result, unauthorised vendors had a field day and did brisk business.

About five food stalls were closed on platform numbers 2,3, 6, 7 and 8 and on other platforms too.

The vendors were saying that as the term of their medical certificate expired recently on March 31, they were trying to have it renewed. The process of renewal of certificate is lengthy and takes about 10 to 15 days, they said and complained they had been harassed by the RPF personnel.

Talking to TOI, Nagesh Singh Parihar, manager of a food stall at Allahabad railway junction, said “The process of issuing health certificate is complicated and takes long time passing through offices of station superintendent, station in charge, hospital and other offices. As the term of the health certificate ended recently on March 31, most of the vendors had not renewed their certificates failing which RPF personnel arrested them. Six of my vendors have been arrested.”

Talking to TOI, RPF inspector Anand Singh said, “We have arrested about 12 vendors at Allahabad Junction as they failed to show health certificate.”