Millennium Post

Rail Min accrues loss of Rs 1155.74 crore in 2012-13

Rail Min accrues loss of Rs 1155.74 crore in 2012-13
The comptroller and auditor general of India (CAG) while auditing the engineering, maintenance, and traffic (commercial and operations) [EMT(CO)] of the Indian Railways, has found gross irregularities in executing routine work and has spotted a trend of ignoring safety methods by ‘poorly maintaining’ the locomotive, thereby putting lives of commuters at risk.

Dismayed over the questionable ‘work culture’, the CAG report mentioned that EMT(CO) wings of Indian Railways together accrued a loss of Rs 1155.74 crore.

The CAG report on ‘rationalisation’ of routing of freight traffic (goods) carried over longer routes, says, ‘As per rules, freight charges are to be recovered by the shortest route even though it is operationally feasible to carry freight only by the longer route. This resulted in not only loss of revenue but also incurring of extra operational cost.’

It further says, ‘It has also been directing zonal railways (ZRs) from time to time to forward proposals for rationalisation of longer routes with proper justification. However, our audit observed that ZRs had taken limited action to rationalise the longer routes and further, to remove bottlenecks that deterred the movement of traffic by shorter route, action was frequently delayed or not taken. The audit has assessed a loss of Rs 422.74 crore over the period 2010-12 due to carrying of freight traffic by the longer route.’

In the context of audit on ‘procurement and utilisation of permanent way material on Indian Railways’, a CAG official said, ‘Permanent way materials consist of rails, sleepers, ballast, fastenings etc. These are essentially required for the maintenance and renewal of existing tracks and expansion of the railway network.’

He said, ‘Our audit reviewed the procurement process of permanent way materials in 2012-13 and found that rails were procured from a single source, violating rules and despite there being a shortfall of 13 per cent during 2011-12, no efforts were made by the ministry to develop alternate sources of supply.

The most worrying revelation in the audit was on ‘maintenance of locomotives in Indian Railways,’ where it states that 65 per cent of the overhauled locomotives registered failure within 180 days of their periodic overhaul (POH). ‘Nearly 17 to 20 per cent of them failed within one month of their POH,’
the report reads.

‘Our audit examination from October 2012 to January 2013 revealed that many loop holes in terms of security. The quality of maintenance provided to the locomotives was poor. The performance of locomotives was poor as test check revealed that the average number of unscheduled repairs per locomotives per annum was two and four for diesel and electrical locomotives respectively. This was much higher than the locomotive failure statistics reported by the Indian Railways,’ CAG report reads. In addition, there were delays of up to 360 days in sending locomotives to workshops for their POH. The detention of locomotives during unscheduled repairs and the delays in sending dead locomotives to the sheds for repairs together resulted in loss of earning capacity to the tune of Rs 733 crore.
Sujit Nath

Sujit Nath

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