The bulk of the revenue is expected to come from...
advertisements to be displayed on over 2 lakh LED screens being installed at stations and platforms.
Media reports quoting official sources say the tenders for installing the LED screens and managing them will be floated soon.
Sponsorship of activities and events at station premises and building pay-and-use toilets on land outside stations to boost non-traffic receipts are also being mooted.
Other ideas being mulled include exploiting space rights over station buildings, sponsorship of uniforms for personnel, commercial farming alongside tracks, etc. The transporter’s plans for raising non-farebox revenue is so exhaustive that it is even planning to sell garbage generated at stations.
According to a FICCI-KPMG 2016 report, India’s media and entertainment industry is expected to grow to Rs 1, 31,500 crore by December 2016. In 2015, it was Rs 1, 15,700 crore, with advertising revenue of Rs 47,500 crore.
Railway ministry sources say that with 800 crore passenger bookings annually and average footfall of 4 million on platforms, advertisers would indeed be willing to pay a premium to reach such a volume of captive audience. The railways’ gross traffic receipts (GTR) stood at Rs 1,63,384 crore in FY16, 2.6% below the projections made at the start of the year. It is looking at a 13% growth in GTR to Rs 1,84,819 crore in FY17.
In a related development, Indian Railways is mulling proposals to sell the garbage generated at stations across the country.
One railway official told a leading financial daily that the Railway is examining a proposal from a waste management group which has offered Rs 1.50 per kg for garbage to be collected at railway stations.
Railways has created a separate Non-Fare Revenue Directorate to find ways for generating substantial revenue from sources other than passenger fares and freight.
The waste management company will collect the garbage from stations round-the-clock.
The company has offered to take up garbage collection at 12 stations, including Amritsar, Ambala, Haridwar, Jammu, Katra, Dehradun, Moradabad, Saharanpur, CST, Mumbai Central and Dadar.
It will serve the dual purpose of maintaining cleanliness at stations and also generate revenue for railways.
A substantial amount of solid waste is generated by passengers, visitors, vendors and staff. The solid waste consists of biodegradable as well as non-biodegradable materials.
At present, a bio-methanation plant is being set up at New Delhi station in 15,000 sq metres area to handle 15 tonne of municipal solid waste per day. The plant will produce electricity and manure.