NEW DELHI: The CBI on Wednesday registered four cases in connection with the nearlyRs 4,000 crore Railway scam where officials manipulated the actual weight of loaded goods through software in wagons.
The investigation agency registered three cases in Tamil Nadu and one case in Maharashtra against unknown officials of Railways and private firms. In the first case, the Southern Railway officials in Mangalore manipulated the in-motion weigh bridge installed at Panambur Yard by modifying the software programme causing a wrongful loss of around Rs 20.72 crore to the Railways.
In the three cases, which were registered at Trichy, Tuticorin and Salem in Tamil Nadu, the railway officials fraudulently tampered with the installed Railway in-motion Electronic Weigh Bridges in Tamil Nadu causing losses to the tune of several hundred crore to the exchequer.
A senior CBI officer said that at Trichy, the railway officials manipulated in-motion weigh bridge-- that took place between 2012 and 2014-- and 64 rakes of goods trains were overloaded and sent by a private company, who was a bulk transporter of cement. At Tuticorin, the case was registered pertaining to the alleged fraud committed by a private company which installed the equipment at Melivattan village.
“A private company which was a bulk transporter had got several tonnes of excess goods transported using the same modus operandi,” the officer said. He also said that the third case was registered pertaining to the alleged fraud committed by a private transport company in connivance with the weigh bridge equipment installation company at Salem.
The fraud had occurred since 2011 and several rakes had been found to carry excess weight causing loss to the Railways. The probe agency had in April carried out checks after they received inputs and found that several officials had manipulated the software for weighing goods wagons resulting in loss of revenue.
The officer said that in 2012-13, Railways had ferried 1,008 million metric tonnes of freight and earned Rs 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 to or at the destination point with a view to plugging the leakage of revenue and to avoid overloading of the wagons.
The officer said inputs were received that this system had been manipulated at several places in such a way that overloading was concealed and weight of the wagon was shown to be within the permissible limit.