The newly launched Tejas Express is already grabbing negative limelight with a recent incident when 26 people had to be admitted to Chiplun's private care Life Care Hospital after they complained of vomiting and extreme diarrhea. Passengers complained that they started feeling uneasy after having breakfast at 9 am.
Speaking to the Times of India, Baban Ghatge deputy manager (public relations), Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd at Madgaon, said that passengers from two to three bogies were affected. He said, "It's possible breakfast served on the train could have led to food poisoning. But only an inquiry will reveal the reason. For the Mumbaibound Tejas Express breakfast is loaded onto the train at Karmali, while lunch is loaded at Ratnagiri. Breakfast was served in the train at 9am, while the incident is learnt to have occurred between 12 and 12.30pm."
It is suspected that the passengers may have consumed food at Karmali or elsewhere before boarding the train. Some passengers, however, share other theories. One said that the problem was in the soup that was served after breakfast. One said, "At noon, we were served tomato soup, and after 15 minutes, my daughter and niece began throwing up. My son had eaten breakfast but skipped the soup, and he is fine," she said.
Some enquiries also suggest that first three kids were affected and started vomiting. The other passengers were affected by the stench of the vomit.
Incidentally, Tejas, during its launch, had promised quality service to its passengers, which included hygienic meals. The railway catering had also taken tips from renowned chef Sanjeev Kumar for healthy and tasty food. The train does not have a pantry car and the food has been outsourced to JK Ghosh, a Goa-based firm.
After the incident, the kitchen food was inspected by the area officer, Madgaon and samples of soup sachets were taken for testing. In the evening, IRCTC tweeted: Checked up at the hospital, all the passenger are in a position to be discharged. Necessary transport arrangements are being made (sic).
Director Catering services is proceeding to Mumbai to follow up the matter. 5/6— IRCTC (@IRCTC_Ltd) October 15, 2017
Food samples have been taken for investigation . Total 230 Breakfast ( 117 Veg + 113 Non Veg ) have been served. 4/6— IRCTC (@IRCTC_Ltd) October 15, 2017
Directors of IRCTC closely monitoring the matter and personally spoken to the relatives of the affected passengers of Tejas Express (22120)— IRCTC (@IRCTC_Ltd) October 15, 2017
Group General Manaager, West Zone has proceeded to Chiplun for Co ordination 1/2— IRCTC (@IRCTC_Ltd) October 15, 2017
at the hospital for all arrangements for ensuring their comfort and onward movement. 2/2— IRCTC (@IRCTC_Ltd) October 15, 2017
Group General Manaager, WZ has proceeded 2 Chiplun 4 coordination at d hospital 4 all arrangements 4 ensuring der comfort & onward movement. pic.twitter.com/pYq1Hv9VCC— IRCTC (@IRCTC_Ltd) October 15, 2017
Area officer of IRCTC at Madgaon and On Board Manager are placed under suspension pending fact finding report and food test report.— IRCTC (@IRCTC_Ltd) October 15, 2017
Checked up at the hospital, all the passenger are in a position to be discharged. Necessary transport arrangements are being made.— IRCTC (@IRCTC_Ltd) October 15, 2017
8 passengers have boarded Tutari express from chiplun and are on their way to mumbai.— IRCTC (@IRCTC_Ltd) October 15, 2017
13 passengers have been accommodated in 10112 Konkan Kanya Express from Chiplun Stn. @ 0030 hrs.— IRCTC (@IRCTC_Ltd) October 15, 2017