CHAPTER 5 : REVIEWS

5.1 LAND MANAGEMENT ON INDIAN RAILWAYS

1. Introduction

Indian Railways owned 4.08 lakh hectares of land as on 31st March 1998. 2.76 lakh hectares (67.65 per cent) are reportedly used for operational and service infrastructure such as track, stations, workshops, yards and colonies. Since land is an essential requirement for future development of Indian Railways, preservation and meaningful interim usage of the balance 1.32 lakh hectares of land are of primary importance. Railways have given a part of Railway land (0.64 lakh hectares), which was surplus to its immediate requirement, to the public including Railway employees, for various purposes which inter-alia include cultivation, afforestation, pisciculture, commercial and non-commercial licensing. Out of the remaining land, 0.65 lakh hectares are vacant and 0.03 lakh hectares are under encroachments. (Annexure I)

2. Highlights

[Para 9 (a) and (c) (iii)]

[Para 9 (c) (iv)]

(Para 10)

[Para 12 (a)]

(Para 13)

(Para 13)

(Para 15)

(Para 17)

Besides, Railway Board’s directives were also awaited in respect of Western Railway’s proposal submitted in June 1995 for setting up of Budget Hotels at 16 stations approved by TAFSIL (Tourism Advisory and Financial Services Corporation of India Ltd.). The position is the same in respect of a similar proposal for 6 Budget Hotels initiated by South Central Railway in July 1994.

(Para 19)

3. Main concerns of the Land Management

In their report of September 1995, the Expert Committee set up by Railway Board had identified the main concerns of the Indian Railways with regard to land management as under:

(i) Maintaining vital land records.

(ii) Marking and maintaining land boundaries in the field.

(iii) Dealing effectively with any trespassing into Railway land.

(iv) Fixing license fees on a realistic basis and ensuring timely realisation thereof.

(v) Preparing and executing legal documents/ agreements for giving out Railway land for approved purposes.

(vi) Commercial exploitation of vacant Railway land and air space.

4. Observations/Recommendations of Estimates Committee (1992-93, 1993-94) and Expert Committee (1995)

(i) Land Records

The Estimates Committee recommended more systematic collection and compilation of land data, analysis and completion of the work of certification and microfilming of land plans. The task of cent per cent certification and microfilming of land plans was to be completed by the Zonal Railways in a time bound manner.

(ii) Organisation of Land Management

The Estimates Committee and the Expert Committee recommended the creation of adequate Land Management Organisation at Railway Board, Zonal Railway Headquarters and Divisional levels to deal with all aspects of land management. The Expert Committee recommended setting up three independent areas of operation to take care of railway property: (a) Estate Management Department to look after the day-to-day Management issues, (b) Railway Land Tribunals to look after evictions and encroachments and (c) Rail Property Board to look after the commercial use of land assets.

(iii) Encroachments

The Estimates Committee recommended that special efforts be made to deal with the increasing menace of encroachments, especially in the Metropolitan cities, in close co-ordination with Railway Police Force, State Police and Civil authorities.

(iv) Commercial Use of un-utilised Railway Land

The Estimates Committee recommended that all-out efforts should be made to liquidate arrears in recovery of licence fee, to make commercially oriented plans for afforestation, to recover land given under the Grow More Food Scheme and to commercially exploit the land and airspace of the Railways for generating resources.

5. Corporate Plan

The Indian Railways Corporate Plan (1985-2000) prepared in April, 1986 envisaged that the unutilised land should continue to be with the Railways to meet its future requirements. Profitable commercial exploitation of the unutilised land with a view to augment resource mobilisation efforts was emphasised in preference to earning revenue by way of afforestation, pisciculture, social forestry etc. With this objective, the Corporate Plan also recommended setting up of a separate Authority of Land Management under the control of Ministry of Railways.

6. Organisation

The management of land at the apex level (i.e. Railway Board) is controlled by Land Management Directorate which is headed by an Executive Director. Their primary responsibility is to lay down the policy of the Railways in regard to Land Management and to ensure its implementation at Zonal Railways/Divisional level.

At the Zonal level, Chief General Engineer under the General Manager of Zonal Railway is the implementing and co-ordinating authority for the various policies/orders issued by the Railway Board on all matters pertaining to Railway land.

At the Divisional level, Senior Divisional Engineer under the Divisional Railway Manager is the designated Estate Officer. His primary responsibility is the actual execution of instructions for regulating usage of land, prevention of encroachment, execution of agreements for commercial licensing etc.

In the field, below the Division level, the Assistant Engineer/Permanent Way Inspector/Inspector of Works are responsible for maintaining Land Plans, demarcation of boundaries and prevention of encroachments etc.

7. Scope of Review

This review covers different aspects relating to the performance of Indian Railways in Land Management., viz. maintenance of basic land records, protection of land and removal of encroachments, resource generation by commercial exploitation of land assets, utilisation of land for non-railway/non-commercial purposes, acquisition of land etc., for the period of 5 years from 1993-94 to 1997-98. The review also analyses the adequacy of the present organisational set-up for Land Management.

8. Sample Size

At the macro level, general review of the Railways practice was carried out to study the different aspects of Land Management. At the micro level, the position in 22 divisions out of the total of 60 divisions in the Indian Railways were reviewed. The land coverage of these 22 divisions is 1,72,824 hectares (about 42.29 per cent of the total land holding) (Annexure II).

9. Land Management Organisation

Traditionally land management has been one of the functions of the Engineering Department. However, in June 1982, Railway Board felt the need for setting up the Land Management Directorate in the Railway Board and set it up in August 1982 with one Executive Director, one Desk Officer and four Subordinate staff. The Directorate was responsible for defining policy, dealing with references on land from the Parliament/various Committees, management of land records, promotion of commercial utilisation of land and air space, commercial licensing and collection of revenue, afforestation, Grow More Food and pisciculture on vacant Railway land, problems connected with encroachments etc. However, in addition to holding the charge of Land Management, this Directorate was also entrusted with other responsibilities/duties (Appendix - 4).

In February 1986, Railway Board directed all the Zonal Railways to forward proposals to strengthen the Land Management Organisation. Accordingly all Zonal Railways sent their proposals. Again on the recommendations of the Estimate Committee (1992-93), Railway Board asked the Zonal Railways in July 1994 to assess the organisational requirement in response to which another round of proposals were sent by the Zonal Railways.

General review of the organisation as on 31st March 1998 revealed that

(a) No posts of gazetted officers (GOs) and non-gazetted officials (NGOs) were in operation in 20 divisions as on 31 March 1998 (Annexure III).

(b) No gazetted posts were actually being operated in another 10 divisions (Annexure III).

(c) As against the assessed requirement of 74 gazetted and 645 non-gazetted posts at Zonal Headquarters and Divisional Headquarters levels, only 19 gazetted and 164 non-gazetted posts were created. However, 41 gazetted and 229 non-gazetted posts were in operation as on 31 March 1998 (Annexure IV). In 24 divisions over the Zonal Railways, no non-gazetted staff had been provided exclusively for Land Management work and in 38 divisions no gazetted staff had been provided exclusively for Land Management work (Annexure III).

Review of the posts sanctioned and operated also revealed the following:

(i) There appears to be no rational in the break up of posts with reference to the duties and categories of posts operated i.e. group A, group B, group C and group D posts.

(ii) Thus posts sanctioned for land management and posts operated did not seem to have any co-relation with the assessment of need, duties and responsibilities.

(iii) In many places over Zonal Railways and even in Land Management Directorate of the Board, officers/ staff deployed were saddled with additional work.

(iv) There were no specific guidelines from Railway Board with regard to the organisation for land management. The categories and levels of posts to be created and the duties and responsibilities were not indicated and at present none of the Zonal Railways have a well structured Land Management Organisation.

10. Basic Land Records

Land records are required to be maintained in accordance with instructions contained in Para 850 of Engineering Code and Paras 3713, 3714 and 3715 of Indian Railway Ways and Works Manual vide Chapter XXXVII on Acquisition, Management and Disposal of Land. However, this chapter is not appearing in the latest edition of the Manual. As these instructions are of vital importance in effective management of Railway land, Audit scrutinised the position of maintenance of basic records in the Chief Engineer’s office in the Zonal Railways and in Divisions, based on the provisions of Ways and Works Manual’s - 1967 Edition.

As per extant rules, two of the most important registers to be maintained are Land Registers and Land Boundary Verification Registers. While Land Registers are to be maintained in the Chief Engineers office and at Divisional and District Engineers offices, Land Boundary Verification Registers are to be maintained at the Divisional/ District offices and Sub-divisional levels in Assistant Engineers (AENs) offices, and also by the Permanent Way Inspector (PWI)/ Inspector of Works (IOW).

(i) Land Register

Land Registers should contain details of location, land plan number, kilometerage, description, area, cost of land, reference to Government Resolutions and date of sanctioning transfer of land and remarks to show the date of actual transaction etc. Complete series of land plans for the entire Railway, original certified tracings and sufficient ferros of certified land plans have to be maintained in Divisions.

(ii) Land Boundary Verification Register

Land Boundary Verification Register is required to be maintained indicating demarcation and periodical verification done of the boundaries. The register also contains details of encroachments, missing boundary stones and action taken thereon. PWIs/ IOWs are required to record annually a certificate in regard to the verification of boundaries in their section and furnish a certificate to the divisional authorities.

Scrutiny of land records over the Zonal Railway Headquarters/ divisional office/ subordinate units (Land Management) revealed the following discrepancies/deficiencies:

In six Zonal Railways (Eastern, Northern, North Eastern, Northeast Frontier, South Eastern and Western), land registers were maintained, but were not as per codal provisions. In seven Zonal Railways i.e. (Central, Eastern, Northern, Northeast Frontier, Southern, South Central and Western) the land registers maintained were incomplete, as columns therein were not filled in. At the Headquarters of Northern, North Eastern and Southern Railways land registers are not maintained at all. Similarly, in Howrah, Sealdah and Dhanbad divisions of Eastern Railway, Bikaner, Lucknow and Moradabad divisions of Northern Railway and five divisions on South Central Railway land registers were not maintained.

Likewise in 21 divisions out of 41 divisions test-checked, land registers were not maintained in the required format. Besides, in 17 divisions the land registers were found to be incomplete in as much as all the columns were not filled in.

In the absence of vital records such as land registers and land boundary verification registers, it is not known as to how information in regard to land management is submitted to General Manager/ Railway Board. The veracity of the data compiled by the Divisions and furnished to Zonal Headquarters and by Zonal Headquarters to Railway Board is also not susceptible of verification.

Even data supplied/ complied by the Railway Administrations/ Railway Board is unreliable as can be seen from Annexure V. The table given below indicates the position relating to Central Railway as an illustration:

Railway

Period

Data collected and compiled by Divisions

Data shown in General Manager’s Annual Report

Data reported by General Manager to Railway Board

Central 1.Land acquisition

1993-94 to 1997-98

Nil

4284.867 hectares

0.30 hectares

2.Tree Plantation

31 March 1996 31 March 1997 31 March 1998

24.18 lakhs 26.24 lakhs 22.40 lakhs

20.96 lakhs 27.31 lakhs 18.16 lakhs

37.92 lakhs 30.42 lakhs 21.87 lakhs

3.Commeracial licensing of Railway land 
(i) Outstanding dues 

31 March 1998 

 

 

Data not sent to Railway Board since 1992

(a) Shopkeepers -do- Rs.2.29 crores Rs.1.79 crores  

(b) Oil Companies

-do-

Rs.1.78 crores

Rs.2.25 crores

-do-

(c) Others

-do-

Rs.4.68 crores

Rs.10.67 crores

-do-

(ii) Number of encroachment cases pending in court

31 March 1998

3312

8336

6654

Grow More Food - Outstanding dues

31 March 1997

Rs.12.31 lakhs

Nil

Rs.17.14 lakhs

11. Monitoring

Data reported by the divisions is consolidated in Zonal Headquarters. Zonal information is submitted to Railway Board through various Progress Reports. The Land Management Directorate of Railway Board have prescribed the following progress reports for monitoring.

(i) Monthly Progress Report on land encroachments showing progress of removal of encroachments.

(ii) Quarterly Report on recovery of licence fee and execution of land licence agreements.

(iii) Certification and Microfilming of Land Plans (Quarterly).

(iv) Monthly Progress Report on Tree Plantation(Targets and Achievements).

(v) Grow More Food - Half Yearly Progress Report regarding area licensed and licence fee recovered/outstanding.

These reports were not being received regularly from Zonal Railways. Data as and when required by the Railway Board was being obtained during the course of review meetings which were also not held at fixed periodicity. The reports do not cover all aspects of land management. For example information is not obtained by the Land Management Directorate for monitoring (1) land given to the Forest Department of the State Governments for afforestation and recovery of licence fees thereon, (2) expenditure incurred and earnings realised from afforestation, (3) cases under litigation on commercial licensing and their clearance, (4) development of pisciculture etc. Adequate follow up action is also not being taken by the Land Management Directorate using the information received from the Zonal Railways. Besides, in Central, Southern and South Eastern Railways some of the data reported through Progress Report to the Railway Board does not tally with the data available in the General Managers’ Annual Report and Periodical Confidential Demi-official Letters (PCDO) by Land Management Cell of the Zonal Railways (Annexure V).

12. Land Plans

(a) Certification and Microfilming

Up-to-date and accurate land plans of all Railway land, duly accepted by the revenue authorities of the State Government, establish that the ownership/ title of land vests with the Railways. Land plans are required to be shown in Route Kilometres or in numbers. Land records are to be maintained in accordance with instructions contained in Para 850 - Engineering Code. All land plans in the custody of Railways are required to be stored on micro films.

The Public Accounts Committee (1986-87) had felt that the state of maintenance of accurate land plans of Railway land, duly accepted by revenue authorities of the State Governments, was not satisfactory. In the absence of proper land plans, it was not known whether periodical verification of boundaries as per extant orders was regularly done by the Railway Administration. Railway Board had issued instructions to Zonal Railways on 4 September 1984 that this work should be taken up in right earnest and had committed to the PAC that the arrears would not be allowed to continue beyond 31 March 1986. However, as the arrears in certification continued even in 1993, the Estimates Committee also commented adversely on this aspect, leading to the Railway Board directing the Zonal Railways to make systematic and organised efforts to achieve cent per cent certification and microfilming of land plans by 31 December 1995.

However, as on 31 March 1998, the position was found as below (details in Annexure VI):

(i) Details of route kms. certified in Eastern Railway were not available. In 8 other Zonal Railways (Central, Northern, North Eastern, Northeast Frontier, Southern, South Central, South Eastern and Western), 42,983.71 route kms. were got certified (78.04 per cent) against the total route kms. of 55,078.41, excluding Eastern Railway.

(ii) Status of micro-filming was not available in two Zonal Railways (Eastern and Northeast Frontier). Over the other 6 Zonal Railways (except Western Railway where land plans are maintained in numbers), the work of micro-filming done was 27,412.97 route kms. (87.12 per cent) out of the total certified route kms. of 31,466.12. The work of micro-filming, as per Divisional records on Northern Railway, was stated to be in arrears to the extent of 70 per cent. However, as per Northern Railway Headquarters communication dated 16 September 1998 the micro-filming had been completed to the extent of 99.45 per cent (out of 5299 land plans certified upto September 1998, 5270 land plans were micro-filmed).

(iii) In North Eastern Railway, there has been no progress in certification and microfilming since 1993-94.

(b) Land Boundaries

All land in possession of the Railway shall have boundaries defined on the ground in such a manner as to enable such boundaries to be readily ascertained and identified. Accordingly every Railway Administration is responsible for demarcation and annual verification of the boundaries and maintenance of proper records of all land in possession of that Railway. The PWIs/ IOWs are required to furnish Inspection certificates in this regard to the Divisional authorities in the prescribed format with reference to the annual verification of land boundaries available in their section. The boundaries of Railway land are defined by a continuous wall, fence or ditch or by detached marks, posts or pillars.

(i) Identification of boundaries/ vulnerable areas

Audit scrutiny revealed that in 58 Divisions (out of 60 divisions) over the Zonal Railways identification of vulnerable areas, types of land boundaries such as details of posts/ pillars etc. had not been made for different periods varying from one year to five years.

In 5 Railways (Eastern, North Eastern, Northeast Frontier, South Eastern and Western) the work of identification of boundaries had not been done for the period 1993-94 to 1997-98.

In Central Railway, identification work of boundaries had not been carried out in any of the eight divisions for the years 1996-97 and 1997-98. In Northern Railway, out of eight divisions, in six divisions the areas where land boundaries were to be provided had not been identified. No records showing the vulnerable areas, types of land boundaries such as details of fencing, stones etc. had been maintained.

(ii) Targets for boundary walls

While in Eastern Railway (seven divisions) and Northeast Frontier Railway (three divisions), no targets were fixed for construction of boundary wall during the entire period 1993-94 to 1997-98, over other Zonal Railways targets had not been fixed for different periods, viz. 1993-94 to 1996-97 in Central Railway (4 divisions),1993-94 to 1997-98 in North Eastern Railway (4 divisions) and South Eastern Railway (2 divisions) and 1995-96 to 1997-98 in South Central Railway (5 divisions).

It will be observed that in most of the Zonal Railways, the work of identification of areas/ fixing of targets had not been done and wherever areas had been identified/ targets fixed, there was poor progress in constructing the boundary wall.

As encroachment cases have increased from 1,29,244 to 1,56,786 (Annexure VII) during the period 1993-94 to 1997-98, the activity of constructing land boundaries in a planned manner to check encroachments and misuse of Railway land by outsiders assumes great significance and needs more attention.

(c) Updating of Land Plans

As per Para 841 of Indian Railways Code for the Engineering Department, the original land plan should be corrected and updated to show the disposition of land as determined after any work of construction is completed. For detached portions of land, there should be reference to some fixed point on one of the main sheets with distance and compass or other bearings, or such reference to the published maps of the neighbourhood as will ensure ready identification. However, on scrutiny of land plans it was observed that in 46 Divisions, out of 14,684 land plans 4,784 plans were not updated for the period 1993-94 to 1997-98.

On review of some land plans, it was seen, for instance, that in Central Railway, land plans available are as old as 40 years or more, but these were not updated and these did not match with revenue plans/ city survey maps. In most of the areas, physical demarcation of land was not available. In Mumbai Division, the Railway Administration even proposed to entrust the work of updating the land plans of Mumbai CST - Mulund section (30 kms.) to a private agency at the cost of Rs.0.33 crore (June 1998).

In South Eastern Railway, on the other hand, none of the Divisions (except Khurda Road and Nagpur) could make land plans available to audit for scrutiny. In the 2 Divisions where land plans were available, these (85 nos.) were updated in Khurda Road, but in Nagpur Division, 113 nos. land plans were not updated.

In the absence of updated land plans, the area of land used for tracks, stations, offices, residential building, training areas, production units, workshops, with break-up of land in Metropolis, major cities is not available.

13. Encroachments

Any un-authorised use of Railway land is an encroachment.

(a) Altogether 1,56,786 encroachments on 3,162.91 hectares of Railway land (excluding CLW - 1.51 hectares) were stated to have been existing as on 31st March 1998. In terms of area, 2,563.90 hectares (81.06 per cent) was under encroachment in 13 Divisions, out of which 2,251.66 hectares (71.18 per cent) were in only 6 Divisions viz. Varanasi - 615.12 hectares (North Eastern Railway), Khurda Road - 548.18 hectares (South Eastern Railway), Delhi - 406 hectares (Northern Railway), Alipurduar - 351.67 hectares (Northeast Frontier Railway), Moradabad - 217.28 hectares (Northern Railway) and Samastipur Junction - 113.41 hectares (North Eastern Railway) (Annexure VII).

In terms of numbers, 1,00,327 (63.99 per cent ) encroachments were in 14 Divisions, viz. Mumbai (15,200) and Pune (9,345) in Central Railway, Sealdah (8,203) and Asansol (3,556) in Eastern Railway, Delhi (9,414) in Northern Railway, Sonepur Junction (2,933) in North Eastern Railway, Lumding (9,594), Alipurduar (5,491) and Katihar (3,692) in Northeast Frontier Railway, Vijayawada (4,749) in South Central Railway, Kharagpur (11,386), Chakradharpur (4,321) and Visakhapatnam (3,379) in South Eastern Railway and Mumbai Central (9,064) in Western Railway (Annexure VII). Thus Delhi and Alipurduar divisions suffered high level of encroachments in terms of both the number of encroachments and the area encroached.

Altogether 45,984 cases of encroachments were added during the period from 1993-94 to 1997-98. Of the 1,56,786 cases of encroachment as on 31st March 1998, 42,898 cases were stated to be under litigation (Annexure VIII). Reasons for increase in encroachment cases on the Zonal Railways were stated to be inadequate land management, stiff resistance from encroachers etc., interference by politicians, lack of coordination between the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and local Police Officials, non-rehabilitation of the jhuggi dwellers by the State Government unless Railways agreed to bear the expenses etc.

Land is an invaluable asset and as custodians, it is the primary responsibility of the Railway to keep land free of encroachments. Ministry of Railways had informed the Estimates Committee (1992-93) that all Zonal Railways had been asked in September 1990 to take a census of all types of encroachments. The Railways were also instructed to keep record of all encroachments on site plan as well as in Encroachment Registers.

Earlier also the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) (VII Lok Sabha), in para 1.24 of their 3rd Report (1980-81), had adversely commented upon the growing incidence of encroachments of large chunks of Railway land and had asked the Ministry of Railways not only to get the existing encroachment cleared but also to check further encroachments. Again the PAC (VII Lok Sabha), in para 53 of their 94th report (1982-83), stressed that it was imperative for the Railways to protect their land against encroachment. Likewise the PAC (VIII Lok Sabha) (1987-88), in their 125th Report, had expressed concern over increase in encroachments. Ministry of Railways too had admitted (1987-88) that the overall growth of encroachments could not be contained. Since then, the number of encroachments has gone up from 1,03,070 (1987-88) to 1,56,786 (rise of 52.11 per cent) as on 31st March 1998. The Estimate Committee (1993-94) also had occasion to observe that the land management organisation was inadequate and it had not received the attention to the extent deserved. In the same vein, the Expert Committee appointed by the Railway Board for commercial exploitation of land, in its report of September 1995, had also emphasised on the dire need of setting up of a separate Railway Land Tribunals. Despite such recommendations of various Committees, the incidence of encroachment on the Railways had been on the increase as can be seen from below:-

Year

Number of 
Encroachments

Area under Encroachment 
(In hectares)

1975

64,000

Not available

1985

98,000

Not available

1998

1,56,786

3,162.91

It was observed that there were differences in the figures of encroachments reported by the headquarters and divisions. To illustrate, while according to Chief Engineer (General), Central Railway’s compilation (February 1998) the total hutments (encroachments) alongside the track in Mumbai area alone were 25,135 numbers, the Divisional authorities (DRM) had reported in March 1998 only 15,200 encroachments for the entire Mumbai Division. Similarly, while according to Assistant Engineer, Mathura there were 1893 encroachments on 0.26 hectare of land, it was observed in audit that there were 3,790 encroachments on 9.9 hectares of land along side the track falling under the jurisdiction of AEN, Mathura as per Section Engineer (Works) Mathura’s letter dated 14 July 1998 addressed to Divisional Engineer (North), Jhansi.

In South Eastern Railway, review of the encroachment cases during the period 1993-94 to 1997-98, as reported to the Railway Board, were as under:

Year

Number of 
Encroachments

Area under Encroachment 
(In hectares)

1992-93

18,582

Not Available

1993-94

19,313

714.43

1994-95

18,826

714.43

1995-96

19,127

714.43

1996-97

21,689

657.94

1997-98

22,114

714.42

It will be observed that though the number of encroachments changed during the period 1993-94 to 1997-98, the area under encroachment remained constant. In the absence of details (division wise) at South Eastern Railway Headquarters, the authenticity of the figures furnished to Railway Board could not be verified in Audit.

Thus, while encroachments remained uncontrolled, the Land Management Organisation continued to be neglected despite recommendations of Public Accounts Committee etc.

Interestingly, a micro study conducted by the Railway Administration on Jhansi Division had revealed that out of 1257 encroachments under AEN, Jhansi as on September 1994, about 79 per cent were by Railway employees and the balance 21 per cent by outsiders. The number of total encroachments under AEN, Jhansi as on 31 March 1998 were stated to be 1234.

Over Northern Railway, though the number of encroachments had decreased (20 per cent) from 30,584 (1993-94) to 19,791 (as on 31 March 1998), the area under encroachments during this period went up from 455.58 hectares in 1993-94 to 708.31 hectares in 1997-98.

(b) A few interesting cases of unauthorised encroachments over the Zonal Railways are discussed below:

(1) There are many cases of encroachments for a long time. Illustrative instances are :

(i) 2.87 lakh sq. feet (value Rs. 6.46 crores) between Dharamshala - Bajar - Domingarh in a commercial area (at Gorakhpur, Lucknow Division, North Eastern Railway) encroached since 1972.

(ii) 4 acres at Gondia (Nagpur Division, South Eastern Railway) encroached since 1965.

(iii) 5.02 acres at Palasa (Khurda Road Division, South Eastern Railway) encroached since 1977.

(iv) 53.336 acres at Tata Nagar (Chakradharpur Division, South Eastern Railway), over 6 locations have been encroached upon by TISCO during 1958 to 1993. Railway Administration failed to initiate action to evict them. Bills amounting to Rs.9.31 crores towards land rent were preferred (April 1998) against M/s. TISCO with a view to regularise the encroachments treating these as temporary occupation. However, the total outstanding dues, if worked out upto December 1998 would amount to Rs.10.37 crores. The amount is yet to be realised (December 1998)

(2) There are cases of non-eviction even after completion of eviction proceedings. In 6 cases involving 470 encroachments and 1.37 acres, falling under the Inspector of Works (IOW), Delhi, Yamuna Bridge II, eviction orders were passed by the Divisional Estate Officer in October 1990. There is no appeal in higher court, but the encroachments remain.

(3) In some cases, court intervention has come in the way. For instance, in Vijayawada Division (South Central Railway), 1.405 hectares (value Rs.1.16 crores) were unauthorisedly occupied by 410 encroachers who had constructed hutments alongside the track in Rajahmundri-Godavari section. Efforts of Railways to clear the encroachments did not yield any result as the encroachers filed petitions in court. Railway Administration also spent Rs.9.32 lakhs (during 1990-91 to 1995-96) for removal of garbage thrown on the track by the residents.

The Railway Administration attributed the increase in encroachment cases to lack of co-ordination between Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Local Police Officials.

(4) Often there is clustering of cases of encroachments in certain Divisions. In Southern Railway out of the total of 82.55 hectares of land worth Rs.16.48 crores encroached, the value of land encroached in 4 divisions (Bangalore, Tiruchchirapalli, Mysore and Palghat) was stated to be Rs.10.96 crores, Rs.2.97 crores, Rs.1.10 crores and Rs.0.74 crore respectively which aggregate around 96 per cent of the total value of all encroached land.

Reasons for increase in the encroachment cases were stated to be the absence of rehabilitation programme in respect of slums which were provided with basic amenities by the State Government without the knowledge of Railway and insistence of the State Government that the Railway should take the responsibility of resettling the encroachers including the expenditure involved.

(c) Operational hazard, Speed restrictions, Hindrance to augmentation plan

A major portion of encroachment is in the metropolitan cities and large towns where pressure on land is growing due to industrialisation, urbanisation and spiralling growth in population. These encroachments are almost exclusively alongside the track.

Mass encroachments by the side of the railway tracks have hindered augmentation of Railway tracks (for both freight and passenger traffic) and have posed operational hazards leading to imposition of speed restrictions. The financial implication of speed restrictions, however, could not be assessed in audit.

Some illustrative cases of encroachments alongside the Railway track which hampered the speed of the trains and also affected the projects causing delay in completion of augmentation of line capacity are discussed below:

(1) Operational hazard/ speed restrictions

In Mumbai division, there was a large number of hutments in close proximity of Railway tracks, causing hindrance to smooth train operations on suburban sections. Total number of hutments alongside the track and the number falling in the safety zone of 10 metres from Railway track as on March 1998 were as follows:

Sl. No.

Name of section

Total number of hutments 
along-side the track

Number of hutment 
falling in safety zone
(10 metres)

1.

Mumbai CST to Kalyan

8370

4890

2.

Mumbai CST to Mankhurd Wadala to Mahim

16765

7831

In all 27 speed restrictions (through - 7 and local - 20) were in operation on these sections. Of these, in 25 cases (through - 6 and local - 19) Railway has imposed speed restrictions of 30 to 50 KMPH against the normal operating speed of 80 KMPH. In actual practice, due to apprehension of sudden trespassing, Motormen are running the trains at even lower speeds. In addition, maintenance of the running track has also deteriorated due to blocking of drains and accumulation of garbage thrown by the hutment dwellers.

In October 1994 Chief Engineer, Central Railway had identified 8 locations for clearance of encroachments for smooth running of trains. However, no progress has been made so far (March 1998).

In Delhi Division, speed restriction in Delhi-Kalka route was in operation at New Azadpur due to hutments alongside the track in Subzi Mandi - New Azadpur section as on 31 March 1998.

(2) Hindrance to augmentation plan

Central Railway

(i) The extension of Railway line from Mankhurd to Belapur was delayed by 3 years (1992-1994) due to 280 un-authorised hutments on Railway land. Railway had to spend Rs.3.86 crores during the period from 1988 to 1996 for developing an alternate site for rehabilitating the hutments affected by the project.

(ii) The augmentation of additional railway line between Kurla - Thane stations has been affected due to 1185 encroachments on Railway land alongside the tracks. Railway Board had approved Rs.1.38 crores as development charges for rehabilitation of encroachers.

Northern Railway

(i) The work of linking of Delhi’s avoiding line with Delhi - Panipat - Ambala section for augmentation of additional Railway line has been affected due to encroachments alongside the track.. The cost overrun worked out to Rs.0.71 crore.

(ii) The work ‘Development of New Delhi Railway Station (Phase-III)’ including construction of two washing lines and two stabling lines (26 coaches) was sanctioned at the cost of Rs.13.42 crores in 1996-97. Detailed estimate for Rs.14.75 crores was sanctioned in December 1996. The target date of completion was 24 months from the sanction of the detailed estimate.

When the work was sanctioned (October 1996), there were about 800 jhuggis at the proposed construction site. The Administration was thus aware that unless these jhuggies were removed, construction work could not progress. Despite that known position, the work was sanctioned. Consequently, as of June 1998, only clearance of site was stated to be in progress. No other work could be undertaken due to non-removal of jhuggies. While physical progress of work was only 11 per cent (June 1998), expenditure of Rs.2.12 crores had already been incurred upto March 1998.

According to Zonal Railway Administrations, the non-removal of encroachers over the Railways was due to the following reasons:-

14. Utilisation of Railway land

Out of total 4.08 lakh hectares of Railway land, 2.76 lakh hectares are under ‘Track and Structures’. The balance land is either lying vacant or has been used for purposes not directly related to Railway operations like commercial licensing, Grow More Food scheme, afforestation programme, pisciculture and commercial exploitation. Audit attempted a review of the management and utilisation of this balance land with a view to assess the following:-

(i) Whether the land not presently being utilised for Railway operation is secure from encroachments.

(ii) Whether the land so available is being put to some legitimate interim use to safeguard the same as also generate some returns.

15. Commercial licensing of Railway land

Overall 3,606.81 hectares are under commercial licensing as on 31st March 1998. In 2 Zonal Railways (Central, Southern) 605.71 hectares were under commercial licensing, of which 35.13 hectares are licensed to shopkeepers, 314.18 hectares to oil companies and 256.40 hectares to others. In 6 Zonal Railways (Eastern, Northern, North Eastern, Northeast Frontier, South Central and South Eastern) similar details were not furnished to Audit nor were records made available.

Prior to 1985, Railways had been licensing vacant land, not immediately required for its own use, for the following purposes:

(i) Commercial purposes including retail shop and other private business.

(ii) Staff welfare purposes like schools, clubs and religious places in Railway colonies.

Rent was to be fixed at the uniform rate of 6 per cent of the market value of the land as assessed by the local revenue authorities.

Licensing to private individuals and organisations for the purpose of running shops, commercial offices, vending stalls, clinics etc., which were not connected with Railway working was banned in 1984. Licences granted prior to imposition of this ban had been allowed to continue till such time the land was required by Railways for its own use. In pursuance of recommendations of Railway Reforms Committee (1982), the policy on commercial licensing was modified in 1985 and licence fee leviable for various types of plots was fixed at 10 to 20 per cent of market value of land with effect from 1st April 1986. Agreements were to be executed between Railway Administration and licencees before giving possession of land. Subsequently, in August 1995 Railway Board reviewed the position and reduced the licence fee to 6 per cent with retrospective effect from 1st April 1986. The Board also directed that old cases be reviewed and the fee revised.

(a) Review of the position in regard to revision of licence fee, execution of agreement, recoveries made and cases under litigation for the period from 1993-94 to 1997-98 indicated the following position over the Zonal Railways:

(i) Execution of licence deeds

Execution of agreement was pending in 14,259 cases as on 31 March 1998 out of the total of 29,045 cases (Annexure - IX). Despite monitoring by the Land Management Directorate of Railway Board on quarterly basis, the progress in regard to execution of agreements, recovery of licence fee and finalisation of court cases has been poor.

(ii) Realisation of licence fee

The outstanding dues in respect of licence fee had gone up from Rs.58.54 crores as on 31st March 1993 to Rs.141.71 crores as on 31st March 1998 (Annexure X).

(iii) Court cases

Data in connection with cases of litigation is not being maintained.

(b) A few illustrative cases of commercial licensing are detailed below:-

Eastern Railway

In Danapur division of Eastern Railway, 8.05 acres of Railway land was licensed to the Ganga Bridge Project (GBP) Authority with effect from 1 July 1973 for a siding. However, since March 1977 M/s. Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) started using the siding without permission from Railways. In May 1977 Railway Administration permitted SAIL to use the siding for loading/ unloading purposes upto January 1981, but withdrew the permission from February 1981, since the land was required for their own use. The GBP Authority formally returned the land to the Railways in April 1987. But the Railways could not take possession, as it continued to be under occupation of SAIL. SAIL is still using the siding, though in 1996-97 the area was reduced to 2.056 acres.

Value of the land had been fixed in 1982 at Rs.25.60 lakhs per acre by the Land Acquisition Authority (LAA), Patna. On 20 November 1986, the District LAA, Patna intimated that value of land was Rs.52 lakhs per acre. SAIL, however, disputed the rate and claimed that as per the Additional Collector (Revenue), Patna the market value of the land as in October 1990 was only Rs.12.80 lakhs per acre. To resolve the matter, it had been proposed to request the District Magistrate, Patna to hold a meeting where both Railways and SAIL would be present. Railways, however, did not attend the meeting in April 1991, and ex-parte decision was taken by District Magistrate and the value of land was fixed at Rs.12.8 lakhs per acre i.e. almost 50 per cent of the value in 1982.

Thereafter in December 1995, Senior Divisional Engineer Co-ordination, Danapur prepared a bill for Rs.5.58 crores adopting the rate of Rs.56 lakhs per acre for the period from 1986-87 to 1995-96 based on Railway Board’s orders dated August 1995 (effective from 1 April 1986). But the Chief Engineer, Eastern Railway advised in June 1996 that it was not desirable to reopen an issue which had been settled after protracted deliberation with SAIL. A Senior Administrative Grade (SAG) Committee had fixed the license fee in March 1994 for the year 1985-86 on the basis of land value of Rs.25.60 lakhs per acre (value prevailing in 1982) and increased every year by 10 per cent.

Accordingly, a revised bill for Rs.2.72 crores for the period from 1986-87 to 1996-97 was prepared and raised on SAIL (instead of Rs.5.95 crores i.e. Rs.5.58 crores upto 1995-96 plus Rs.0.37 crore for 1996-97). Thus the Railways stand to incur considerable loss of over Rs.3.23 crores even though all the parties involved are Government or semi Government organisations. The matter is yet to be resolved (December 1998).

Northeast Frontier Railway

Railway Administration were the rightful possessors of land falling under Lumding Bazar, Kalibari and Harlongfar Bazar area with the total area of land measuring 15,46,717 sq. ft. Under Articles 294 and 295 of the Constitution of India, the management of Railway land, being the property of the Central Government, would rest with the Railways only. Notwithstanding such provisions, the Lumding Township Committee, in January 1993, served a notice on the Divisional Railway Manager, Lumding, showing their intention to include certain areas (including the above mentioned land) within the boundary of the Lumding Township Committee. The notification also provided for raising objections by the Railway Administration within 42 days.

The Railway Administration, however, did not take cognizance of the notification nor file any objections. Consequently, the Government of Assam, in the absence of any public opinion/ objections, reorganised the boundary of the Lumding Town Committee in April 1993 and included therein Railway land measuring 15,46,717 sq. ft.

Though it was known that the land in the Lumding Bazar was under the control of Railway Administration as per Chief Engineer’s Plan No. CE/LP/LB/2/61, the Engineering Department (Divisional Engineer-II/ Lumding) decided not to recover arrears of licence fee, toll tax and other Railway dues till the matter of ownership was finalised with the Lumding Township Committee. This decision proved detrimental to the interests of the Railways who are yet to settle their claim over the said land, valued at Rs.2.15 crores, with the Lumding Town Committee. Railway have also been deprived of the revenue generated from the plot holders amounting to Rs.3.44 crores during the period 15 September 1993 to 31 March 1998, which is at present being collected by the Lumding Municipal Board. This loss will be recurrent as long as the Railway Administration remains unable to establish its rightful ownership and get back possession of the land under dispute.

South Eastern Railway

(i) Railway land measuring 9,200 sq. metres and a building having plinth area of 293.03 sq. metres was handed over to M/s. Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) by South Eastern Railway Administration (Kharagpur Division) on 1 February 1992. No action for fixation of rent has been taken. The agreement has also not been executed. Consequently, rent amounting to Rs.0.42 crore for the period from 1 February 1992 to 31 December 1998 remained unrealised (December 1998).

(ii) In Bilaspur Division, non-revision of licence fee for the period from 1985-86 to 1996-97 in respect of 17 cases (private parties, factories, collieries, government departments etc.) resulted in non-realisation of Rs.1.37 crores.

Western Railway

Railway land measuring 25,432.06 square yards was licensed to the Ministry of Defence in the year 1941 at Colaba. The license fee amounting to Rs.16.61 crores for the period from 1 August 1973 to 31 March 1999 is yet to be paid by the Defence Authorities (December 1998).

16. Grow More Food (GMF)

Indian Railways had 7502.94 hectares (Annexure I) of land under Grow More Food Scheme as on 31st March 1998, of which 3823.55 hectares were on Eastern, Northern and South Eastern Railways alone. The policy decision to utilise vacant land for cultivation was taken when there was acute food shortage in the country. The policy was to licence land in the station yards to Railway employees and the land along the tracks in between stations to outsiders or to the State Government. The land given to the State Governments was required to be licensed to individuals for cultivation purposes. The State Governments were also to fix and recover licence fees, retain 10 per cent of the earnings and pay the balance 90 per cent to Railways. Land licensed by the Railways to outsiders and Railway employees was to be given to the highest bidders in auction.

In pursuance of Railway Reforms Committee’s Report in 1982, revised guidelines were issued by the Railway Board in 1984 under which licensing of Railway land for cultivation was stopped and the land already under licence was to be taken back for afforestation, except from outsiders belonging to Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe and weaker sections. Specific approval of the General Manager was to be taken for licensing Railway land for afforestation.

Scrutiny of the position of land given under Grow More Food Scheme and the licence fee recoverable revealed the following:

(i) 7502.94 hectares were still under GMF as on 31st March 1998 as compared to 22,395.28 hectares as on 31 March 1985. 2687.13 hectares were with State Governments, 1471.30 hectares with Railway employees and 1692.42 hectares with outsiders excluding Northeast Frontier Railway for which break up was not available (Annexure XI).

(ii) Following imposition of the ban in 1984, 16,581.10 hectares had been taken back till March 1998 in 8 Zonal Railways (Annexure XII), out of 22,395.28 hectares that were licensed under GMF.

(iii) Even after the GMF scheme was stopped in 1984, at least 261.39 hectares of Railway land were licensed to Railway employees till March 1998 on Central and North Eastern Railways in contravention of Railway Board’s orders (Annexure XII). The justification offered by one Zonal Railway (Central) for giving of land on GMF in contravention of extant orders was protection of land from un-authorised encroachers. North Eastern Railway did not give any explanation for the same. In respect of other Zonal Railways, the information was not available.

(iv) In 5 Zonal Railways (Central, Eastern, Northern, South Central and South Eastern) the outstanding dues of licence fee from their own employees had risen from Rs.0.37 crore (April 1993) to Rs.0.68 crore (March 1998). (Annexure XII). The reasons for non recovery were stated to be delay in recovery from salary bills, non-existence of land management organisation and lack of co-ordination/ monitoring between Headquarters, Divisions and field offices.

A few illustrative cases where the railway land could not be retrieved from State Governments are discussed below:

Central Railway

373.58 hectares of land in Solapur and Satara Districts were acquired by Barshi Light Railways (now Central Railway) in 1929 for construction of Pandharpur-Lonand Railway line. The land remained with Railways as surplus as the project did not materialise. In 1949, the land was handed over to the State government under a Railway Board decision for Grow More Food (GMF) Scheme. The State government, in turn, handed over pieces of this land to adjacent cultivators on `ek-sali’ basis in the same year. This arrangement continues till date. After April 1958, no licence fee has been paid by State government. The amount due from April 1958 to March 1998 amounted to Rs.0.22 crore.

In pursuance of Railway Board’s decision in 1984 to take back Railway land earlier handed over to State government under GMF Scheme for afforestation purpose, Central Railway Administration requested the Collectors of Solapur and Satara districts in December 1989 for return of the land. However, as the relevant land records could not be made available to the State government, the land could not be retrieved so far (October 1998) Licence fee also remained to be recovered.

Western Railway

164.124 acres of land were acquired by the Railway Administration (Rajkot division) from the Government of Gujrat at the cost of Rs.13,287 in 1949 for construction of a meter gauge line between Vijapur-Ransipur. The work was dropped in 1960 and the land was given to Revenue authorities in February/ March 1960 for cultivation on rental basis. However, the statement of recoveries had not been submitted by the State government after 1992-93. The land is stated to be in the possession of the State government as of September 1998.

17. Afforestation on Railway land

Afforestation programme was taken up by the Railways from 1982-83 in pursuance of the then 20-point programme for improving environment, providing pleasing greenery along the railway routes,. curbing encroachment on vacant land and earning revenue. Afforestation was to be carried out departmentally on vacant railway land in colonies, yards, near stations, workshops, major level crossing etc.. Plantation along the track in between stations was to be entrusted to the Forest department of the concerned State Government to whom the land was licensed for this purpose at the nominal rate of Re.1 per hectare. Thus, initially afforestation was not intended to be a commercial proposition, but an arrangement to make such land less susceptible to encroachment and to ensure that the same is readily available as and when required by Railway.

The Estimate Committee (1992-93) and the Expert Committee appointed by Railway Board for commercial exploitation of Railway land (1995) recommended proper planning and execution of afforestation programme from the commercial angle with appropriate stress on financial viability. The annual revenue earning potential from such commercial afforestation programme had been assessed by the Expert Committee to be between Rs.100 crores to Rs.200 crores. In February 1995, the Railway Board stated that trees had been planted on unused land in certain areas and that these would yield revenue to the tune of Rs.200 crores annually.

During audit review for the period from 1993-94 to 1997-98, it was observed that 493.35 lakh trees had been planted as against the target of 671.50 lakh trees targetted by the Railway Board, of which only 323.19 lakh trees were reported surviving. Earning realised over the period 1993-94 to 1997-98 was Rs.0.29 crore in 4 Zonal Railways (Central - Rs.1.78 lakhs, Northern- Rs.4.89 lakhs, Southern - Rs.19.36 lakhs and South Eastern - Rs.2.69 lakhs) while 4 others did not earn anything and no information was available in one (Eastern Railway). The expenditure incurred during this period in 8 Railways (Central, Northern, North Eastern, Northeast Frontier, Southern, South Central, South Eastern and Western) was Rs.9.71 crores (Annexure XIII). Incidentally, bulk of the expenditure (Rs.4.64 crores and Rs.4.16 crores) was in two Zonal Railways alone (Western and South Central respectively) which, incidentally, did not realise any earning.

Eight Zonal Railways (except Eastern Railway) have licensed 19,069.22 hectares to the Forest Department of State Governments for afforestation purpose (Annexure XIV). There is no mechanism with the Railways to obtain data from State Governments in regard to the number of trees planted and their survival. There is no provision for the State Government to pass on the earnings from afforestation undertaken by them to the Railways and the licence fee is nominal (Re.1 per hectare).

Thus the afforestation has not really taken off, nor did it prove commercially viable as is evident from the area under afforestation vis-a-vis the expenditure incurred and the earnings realised (Annexure XIII). Implementation of the scheme has been somewhat casual.

18. Pisciculture and other Purposes

About 10,496.90 hectares of Railway land (Annexure I) was being used for pisciculture and other purposes as on 31 March 1998. In the Audit Report (1982-83) it was pointed out that pisciculture in railway tanks had not been developed as an effective source of revenue and that Eastern, Northern and Northeast Frontier Railways had been licensing the Railway tanks for pisciculture on a small scale, while no action had been taken for development of pisciculture on other Railways. In 1987 and 1988 Railway Board issued directives that while licensing borrow pits/tanks for pisciculture, first preference invariably be given to Co-operative Societies formed by the Railway employees and then to Fishermen’s Co-operative Societies and lastly to outsiders.

Review of the scheme for the period from 1993-94 to 1997-98 revealed that pisciculture in Railway tanks has not even been started in Southern and Western Railways (Annexure XV), who are yet to identify the tanks/ borrow pits for pisciculture.

Five Railways (Central, Eastern, North Eastern, South Central, South Eastern) and CLW identified 777 tanks/ borrowpits covering an area of 818.60 hectares for pisciculture. But only 209.27 hectares were licensed till March 1998 by North Eastern, South Eastern and CLW. For the balance land, details of licensing if any were not available on record (Annexure XV).

The reasons for not licensing of the balance land are not available with the Railway Administrations.

19. Commercial exploitation of Railway land

In 1991, Ministry of Railways had appointed an Expert Committee to study and indicate the various kinds of commercial ventures/projects, such as (i) Shopping centres, (ii) Shopping cum office complexes (iii) Shopping cum residence, (iv) Commercial complexes, (v) Hotels, (vi) Commercial hotel cum residence, which can be started on Railway land in metropolitan and other big cities. In its interim report (January 1992) the Committee identified 69 locations which were considered to have significant commercial potential with estimated yield of Rs. 2,876.51 crores as revenue for the Railways. Three Zonal Railways came up prominently in this respect - Central with estimated yield of Rs. 1126.20 crores, Western with Rs. 1031.50 crores and Northern with Rs.507.27 crores. These Railways needed to examine the commercial licensing of land including airspace, in detail.

The Committee, after detailed discussion with the concerned Zonal Railways, had identified three Pilot Projects to be taken up in the first phase at Howrah, New Delhi and Madras. As per the financial appraisal, three options were considered viz. 99 year lease, outright sale/ lease of property (the Railway has to invest only a nominal amount for seed money. The cost of construction by and large was expected to be managed through realisation of the sale price in instalments as advance concordant with the pace of construction) and renting out the floor area (the Railway has to heavily invest initially upto the period of construction).

In their status paper (May 1998) Ministry of Railways mentioned that Railways had at their command a hitherto untapped source of land and the airspace above it. Approval of the Central Government was sought for the Railways to commercially exploit these non-performing assets and for upgradation and renovation of passenger and freight terminals, as a supplementary source of funding for development.

A few cases where the Zonal Railway Administrations had identified certain sites for commercial development and which could not be developed are discussed below:

(a) Central Railway

The proposal for commercial exploitation of the open space at Kurla Terminus in Bombay division, sent by the Central Railway Administration to the Railway Board in August 1996, envisaged development of the airspace over the Railway land for commercial purposes and providing facility for the Railway Terminus. This however has not been finalised so far (October 1998). According to Railway Administration, this venture could generate a net surplus of Rs. 2800 crores approximately. There was no further progress.

(b) Western Railway

(i) In October 1992, Western Railway advised the Railway Board that 4.73 lakh sq. metres airspace would be available over Railway structures and 0.87 lakh sq. metres of land in Mumbai suburban section, in addition to 1.26 lakh sq. metres of land on non-suburban section of Mumbai Central, Vadodara, Kota, Jaipur and Ajmer divisions. It was stated that the proposed commercial exploitation of airspace and land was in conceptual stage and the modalities of commercial exploitation were to be determined by the Railway Board and that no interaction with local bodies had been undertaken. As the matter was being dealt with at the Board level, no further progress was discernible at the Zonal level.

Similarly, Railway Board’s directives were awaited in respect of the proposal submitted in June 1995 for setting up of budget hotels at 16 stations of Western Railway approved by TAFSIL (Tourism Advisory and Financial Services Corporation of India Limited).

(ii) 1513.542 hectares of land costing Rs.48.32 crores (approx) declared surplus due to closure of branch lines (Metre Gauge/ Narrow Gauge) were awaiting disposal as of November 1998 in Rajkot, Bhavnagar and Ratlam divisions, despite demands from the local bodies, committees, corporations and other government departments, for want of approval of the Railway Board and due to non-receipt of present day cost of the land from the Revenue authorities.

(c) Northern Railway

52 sites involving 302.95 hectares of land were identified for property development by Northern Railway in Allahabad, Delhi, Moradabad, Jullundher, Ambala, Ferozepur, Bikaner and Lucknow divisions and a proposal was sent to Railway Board in August 1994. Two sites at Delhi had been accorded priority for commercial development and the Railway Administration also spent Rs.3.22 lakhs on advertisement for inviting bids from architects in India/ abroad. Thereafter, the matter remained under review at various levels as of December 1998.

(d) South Central Railway

(i) In South Central Railway, three locations in Secunderabad area were identified for commercial exploitations. In respect of one location, a pilot project report, envisaging the estimated revenue of Rs.10.80 crores in one instalment towards the lease amount and Rs.0.21 lakh per annum towards rent, was sent to Railway Board (March 1995). In respect of the remaining two locations, the Railway Administration is yet to finalise the feasibility report for which M/s. Indian Rail Construction Corporation (IRCON) was approached (April 1995). IRCON submitted their offer in January 1996; there is no further progress (December 1998).

(ii) In pursuance of the decision taken in the meeting of Committee of Secretaries held in January 1994, the Railway Board asked (February 1994) the Zonal Railways to identify sites suitable for setting up of budget hotels. Accordingly, after identifying six locations, preliminary report on the feasibility of construction of budget hotels at these locations was sent to the Railway Board (July 1994). In April 1995, Railway Board advised that M/s. Tourism Advisory and Financial Services Corporation of India Limited (TAFSIL), New Delhi had been engaged for undertaking preparation of database profiles for the tourist centres identified for setting up of budget hotels on Railway land. The draft location profiles submitted by M/s. TAFSIL had been confirmed by South Central Railway Administration in November 1995, yet there has been no further progress (December 1998).

A P P E N D I X - 4

(Para 9)

Duties of Land Management Directorate (Railway Board)

Deputy Director (Desk)

1. Construction/ Extension/ Raising level of platforms.

2. Provision/ Extension of cover over platforms.

3. Renovation/ Re-modelling of station buildings.

4. Provision/ Extension of foot over bridges on platforms for bonafide passengers.

5. Construction/ maintenance of station approach roads within the Railway premises.

6. Development of circulating area within the station premises.

7. Provision of waiting hall/ rooms.

8. Provision of source of water supply of station premises.

9. Development of stations as model stations.

10. Planting of shady trees on platforms.

11. Parliamentary/ Consultative Committee works relating to above subjects.

12. Annual Works Programme in connection with passenger Amenity Works/ Other Specified Works to the above works.

13. Construction of foot over bridges at stations.

Desk Officer - I

1. (a) Construction of Service Buildings, Hospitals, Schools, Clubs, Institutes, Community Halls, Holiday Homes, Rest Houses and Rail Yatri Niwas, Parks, Stadium and Cinema Halls on Railways.

(b) Licensing of surplus service buildings to Welfare Organisations.

2. Permission for additions/ alterations to Railway Buildings being used as Temples, Churches, Mosques at present.

3. Construction/ erection of statues of National leaders in Railway premises.

4. Provision of safety measures in high-rise buildings at construction stage.

5. Deposit works for Rail Motor Service Buildings of Department of Posts.

6. Source of Water Supply arrangements at station and service buildings etc.

7. Parliamentary work in connection with the above subjects.

8. Annual works Programme in connection with the above subjects under Plan Head “Staff Amenities” and “Other Specified Works”.

Desk Officer - II

1. (a) Construction of staff quarters, barracks and officers’ bunglow/ flats and acquisition of land therefor.

(b) Maintenance of staff quarters/ barracks/ bunglow/ flats and fittings therein.

(c) Building materials - policy regarding economy in use and cost.

2. (a) Water supply in Railway colonies.

(b) Civil Engineering works relating to sanitation in Railway quarters/ Colonies.

3. (a) Hiring of private houses/ flats for residential use of officers.

(b) Licensing/ leasing/ transfer of surplus Railway quarters for welfare purposes.

4. Indian Railway Welfare Organisation (IROW) - Organisational set up, policy and assistance to its activities.

5. Works programme for plan head ‘Staff Quarters’.

6. Parliamentary work in connection with above subjects.

L.M. (L)

1. Policy relating to acquisition of Railway land.

2. Transfer/ Relinquishment of Railway land.

3. Leasing and licensing of Railway land - fixation of norms, rates etc.

4. Leasing/ licensing of land to schools/ staff welfare organisations/ religious institutions.

5. Way-lease facility through railway land.

6. Licensing of railway land for GMF.

7. Licensing of borrow pits.

8. Licensing of collieries/ mines.

9. Encroachments on Railway land - prevention and removal.

10. Certification/ maintenance of land plans.

11. Provision of fencing/ boundary wall to prevent encroachments.

12. Afforestation on railway land/ environment.

13. Beautification of stations by planting ornamental trees foliage etc.

14. Policy relating to renewable sources of energy.

15. Earning from land sources.

16. Commercial exploitation of railway land/ air space.

17. Acts: (i) Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised occupants) Act.

(ii) Land Acquisition Act.

(iii) Defence of India Act, relating to Railway lands.

(iv) Delhi Master Plans relating to Railway lands in Delhi.

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