The huge amount of scrap generated by the railways is proving to be a goldmine. After receiving a letter from the PMO asking them to sell material that can be scrapped, the central and western railways have earned approximately Rs 156 crore in less than four months from April 1 to July 15.
Sale of scrap railway tracks nets the most amount of money, followed by coaches, wheels and overhead electrical wires. File pic
“The concerned departments have been ignoring this issue for years and so we could not earn as much as we could have from the sale of scrap material. The letter asked the railways to generate revenue by selling the scrap that has been lying with us for a long time and the departments are doing their best to get as much money as possible from the scrap sales,” said a senior official from Western Railway.
According to figures from Central Railway, sale of scrap netted them Rs 47 crore in the whole of the 2013-14 fiscal and they have managed to earn Rs 67 crore from it already till July 15 this year. For the Western Railway, the target was to earn Rs 302 crore from selling scrap material in 2013-14, but it had managed to earn Rs 315 crore.
It seems set to exceed this fiscal’s target of Rs 220 crore as well, as it earned Rs 89.39 crore between April 1 and July 15 this year. Officials from both branches of railways say there are still many unused items lying in different yards and beside railway tracks.
According to officials, sale of scrap railway tracks nets the most amount of money, followed by coaches, wheels and overhead electrical wires. In 2010-11, Western Railway earned R230 crore from selling railway tracks alone.
If the railway authorities are to be believed, the sale of scrap could even make the loss-making railways profitable again. “This is what the PMO office has asked us to do. We have been making a list of materials which have been out-of use since years,” said a Central Railway official.
A K Singh, PRO, CR, said, “We are collecting details about scrap materials in all the railway yards and other places. We are getting good revenue from their sale.” Officials said scrap material is lying in both central and western railway yards, including those in Virar, Mahalaxmi, Lower Parel, Mumbai Central, Kalwa and the Parel workshop.