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Railways’ plan to generate Rs 390 bn from non-fare tenders derail

Indian Railways, Railways, trail, railThe Indian Railways’ plans to generate Rs 390 billion from non-fare sources over 10 years have become doubtful, with the national transporter withdrawing tenders for out-of-home (OOH) advertisements and advertisements on trains owing to a “low industry response” and “technical reasons”.OOH included station areas, overbridges, underbridges, level-crossing gates, railway colonies, workshops, production units, and railway land along tracks. These initiatives would have added at least Rs 82.5 billion to its revenues over 10 years.According to sources close to the development, the cancellation of the tenders came when the Railway Board withdrew the powers of awarding contracts from railway subsidiary RITES and gave them to railways zones.With this, the railways will go back to its practice of inviting tenders for “sundry” initiatives through the zonal railways. “This has led to stagnation in policies for at least two years, resulting in huge revenue losses to the railways. It may take another one year for revenues to come in if the zones start issuing tenders,” said an industry source.According to the data available, cancelling tenders for advertisements on trains and out of home and setting up automated teller machines (ATM) in stations under the Central Railways led to a huge shortfall in expected revenues from advertisements, publicity and parking earnings of the railways in 2017-18.As compared to a revised target of Rs 8.5 billion (from non-fare sources) for the financial year, the railways could manage about Rs 1.5 billion up to January 2018. The reason for this is the delay in finalising tenders for content on demand and the Rail Display Network (RDN) by RailTel, another subsidiary of the railways. Railways' plan to generate Rs 390 bn from non-fare tenders derail
Source: Business Standard