By NewsGram Staff Writer
In countrywide surprise checks at 65 locations, CBI along with Indian Railways’ vigilance officers and digital forensic experts unraveled major irregularities in the weighment of freight carried in trains.
Freight earnings comprise of almost two-thirds of the revenue of Indian Railways. The transporters are worse affected by the said irregularities, which is also deteriorating the tracks on long routes where the freight wagons move.
The Times of India (TOI) reported that CBI is soon going to register multiple FIRs. The agency is also keeping a hawk eye on several senior officers of railways, private vendors and freight transporters. CBI smells that the ‘scam’ may have caused a great damage of Rs. 4,263 crore going by the statistics of 2012-13. In addition, they are also investigating under-reporting of weighment of last three financial years, reported TOI.
The four-day surprise checks, commenced on April 17, were carried out at more than 65 Electronic In-Motion Weigh Bridge (EIMWB) locations that included regions of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Punjab, Jharkhand, Assam, UP, West Bengal, Odisha, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, MP, Maharashtra, Goa, Rajasthan and Gujarat etc.
“Systematic under-weighment was found at many locations leading to the EIMWB recording a lower than actual weight. The quantum of under-weighment increased with an increase in speed of the rake,” found CBI during the investigations.
The agency also stated that the software of static and in-motion weigh bridges used by railways for weighment purposes are maneuvered.
A CBI officer said that, “The manipulation has been done through collusion amongst railway officials, private vendors and freight operators and is not only causing huge financial loss to the government exchequer but also corresponding gain to private freight operators/private persons and is damaging railway tracks, wagons, etc. and is adversely affecting railway safety.”
“The software was set in a way in EIMWBs that it will always show less weight in the wagon,” added the officer.