New Delhi: Improper maintenance of land records, failure in safeguarding title of railway land and non-execution of agreements with licensees are factors leading to huge ouststandings yet to be recovered by the railways as licence fees, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India has observed in its latest report.
As a result of these factors, railways is to recover an amount of Rs 823 crore as outstanding on account of licence fees.
Observing "tardy" progress in identifying vacant land for commercial use, the CAG has observed that only three percent of the total vacant land had so far been handed over to Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA).
The government auditor has found the performance of railways in safeguarding its titleship of land and ensuring proper maintenance of land records unsatisfactory.
"Though in a number of cases railway land was allowed to be occupied by the PSUs and other government departments and private parties, Railways had failed to take effective action to execute licence agreements and recover the licence fee from the licencees," the report said.
In addition, the report observed that surplus land identified for commercial exploitation and vested with RLDA by and large remained vacant due to slow progress in planning.
RLDA was set up in 2006 with the objective of undertaking the commercial development of vacant land to generate revenue. In 2009, RLDA was also given the responsibility of multi-functional complexes through PPP mode.
The audit noticed that out of the total available vacant land of 44,078 hectares, zonal railways had identified 1549.07 hectares of land for commercial development till March 2011. The land comprising 138 sites measuring 1526.58 hectares and 137 sites measuring 22.49 hectares were entrusted to RLDA for commercial development and setting up MFC respectively.
Besides, the CAG has also observed that delay in sanctioning and completing the new rail bridge work over the Sone river resulted in heavy detention to goods trains leading to avoidable revenue loss of Rs 284.20 crore.
CAG has observed irregular benefit of concessional tariff by railway staff to exporters of iron ore without obtaining the prescribed documents and ensuring that all the conditions had been complied with which resulted in undue benefit of Rs 1795.51 crore to the consignors.
First Published: Tuesday, May 15, 2012, 22:17