Railway officers procure vehicles from clients despite ban from railway board
The reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has shown that the railway officials from Nagpur division of Central Railway have procured two four wheelers from the clients despite a complete ban on purchasing vehicles by the Railway Board.
The reply shows that one Chevrolet Tavera is registered in the name of assistant operating manager (AOM) of the operating department while the other one is registered in the name of senior section engineer (works), Ajni of the engineering department. The two SUVs have been bought from the codal charges paid for the deposit works of the railways. The jobs of the railways done for private parties are called deposit works and the amount deposited by the parties towards such works is called the codal charge.
Though, the PRO of Central railways stated that the vehicles were purchased before the ban was imposed by the board, the RTI reply shows otherwise. In 2007, the board had banned the purchase of vehicles by officers excluding GM, AGM, DRM and ADRM. The purchase of vehicles out of codal charges was banned in September, 2012. However, the first vehicle was bought in October, 2012 i.e. within a month of imposition of ban. The other was bought in January, 2013. Both the vehicles, costing Rs. 8 lakh each, were purchased with the codal charges paid by Dhariwal Infrastructure Limited towards the deposit work of a private siding for a power plant.
The applicant, Sachin Kondolikar, has demanded a CBI enquiry into the matter stating that the railway does not have any supply order for the vehicles, it has spent Rs. 6 lakh on their petrol cost.