Railways to fromulate Policy for clearing Land encroachments: Suresh Prabhu

NEW DELHI: The Railways is formulating a policy for clearing encroachments on its land, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Friday.

He told the Rajya Sabha that “we are in the process of formulating a policy for and a lot of advance work has been done on this.”

“It is our responsibility to clear encroachments and unauthorised occupation from railway land and government is making serious efforts,” he said during Question Hour.

Replying to questions, the Minister said the Railways was also working on evolving a non-fare revenue policy to increase its revenues.

“Railways is suffering from financial challenges. To overcome that, we created a non-fare revenue directorate which is working on increasing the revenue,” he said.

The Minister said in his written reply that Railways have launched several initiatives to augment income from non-fare sources to increase revenue.

“A new policy has been launched in January 2017 to encourage innovative ideas for revenue generation,” he said in his written reply.

He said the policy provides a structured and transparent approach in a time-bound manner.

All divisions and zonal railways have been empowered to act under the new policy, he said. There is also a provision for short-term proposals which are non-recurring and likely to lead to loss of income if not accepted in a time-bound manner.

Prabhu said the Ministry has issued the policy on content on demand and rail radio in January 2017 to allow monetisation of entertainment based services on trains and stations.

“Entertainment services will be provided through audio (public address systems) on trains and video systems (personal devices of passengers) on trains and platforms, both in paid and unpaid formats to monetise passengers’ free time,”he said.

A new policy for train advertising has been issued in January with the objective of augmenting revenue of the railways by allowing internal and external advertisement on important trains, he said.

Several innovative and market friendly features have been included in the new policy, the Minister informed members.

On its advertising policy, he said the Railways wants to ensure complete transparency for advertising policy and actual users should focus on it.