Tuesday, April 21, 2015

CBI suspects Rs 4,000 crore scam in rail freight

Suspecting a major scam of at least Rs 4,000 crore in the railways, the CBI is likely to file a case soon into an alleged under-reporting of the actual weight of loaded goods wagons through the manipulation of software by officials.
CBI sources said that in the financial year 2012-13, railways transported 1,008 million metric tonnes of freight and earned `85,262 crore through it, which constituted 67 per cent of the total revenue for the period. The goods are required to be weighed at the originating station or en route or at the destination point with a view to plugging the leakage of revenue and to avoid over-loading of the wagons, the sources said.
CBI sources said inputs were received that this system has been manipulated at several places in such a way that over-loading is concealed and weight of the wagon is shown to be within the permissible limit.
“Highly sophisticated methodology of crime by manipulating the software of the system is suspected,” an official said.
The agency is further suspecting that the alleged manipulation has been done through collusion amongst railway officials, private vendors and freight operators.
“Even a 5 per cent under-reporting of actual weight of freight leads to a difference of `4,263 crore by 2012-13 figures,” an official said.
The railways in consultation with Research Development and Standards Organisation (RDSO) had installed 200 “electronic in-motion weigh bridges” at various locations across the country to weigh the freight in transit.
Six vendors have been roped in by RDSO for setting up the bridges, which automatically measure the weight of goods when train wagons pass at a speed of 15-km per hour, CBI sources said.

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