Citizens' Issues
Central Railway never invited fresh tenders for stalls on platforms in Mumbai, reveals RTI

According to the RTI reply, since independence, over 30 firms or individuals have been running multiple stalls in their names and Central Railway has never invited fresh tender for various stalls on platforms across Mumbai

Year after year, over 30 firms or individuals are continuously running their 24x7 stalls on platforms across stations in Mumbai since the Central Railway (CR) has never invited fresh tenders for the profitable business, reveals a reply received under the Right to Information (RTI).


The RTI was filed by West Bengal-based Ritesh Singh. While the CR has provided details about contractors who are running stall for food & catering (canteen), medicines, books, fruits and other miscellaneous items, a similar RTI is still pending with the Western Railway.


There are about 200 stalls on platforms in CR's Mumbai division. However, according to the reply, between January 1961 and December 2011, over 30 firms or individuals were operating all these stalls. Here are the names of these contractors, excluding Mahanand Dairy, the state-government backed milk co-operative and Catering Vendor Co-operative Society, which are neither firms not individuals.


Name                                              no of stalls                         stations

1. Balan Natural Pvt Ltd                      5                   Masjid, Mulund, Panvel, Badlapur, Karjat

2. Surya Foods & Agro Ltd                   4                    Byculla, Byculla, Dombivali, Kasara

3. Balram Sharma                                2                     Ghatkopar, Vikhroli

4. SA Pai                                                   2                     both at Kalyan Junction

5. M/s Ghanshyamdas & Sons           3                      Masjid Road, Sandhurst Road, KCE

6. M/s Chantulal & Sons                     4                      Matunga, Kurla Junction (three)

7. M/s CK Gupta & Co                          4                       all at Byculla

8. M/s MP Sahani & Co                       4                        all at Mulund

9. M/s KN Solunki & Brithers           6                        all 6 stalls at Thane

10. M/s Gupta Broth                           3                         all 3 stalls at Thane

11. M/s NB Enterprises                  1+2 kiosks           all at Thane

12. M/s Pessumal & Co                        2                         both at Dockyard Road

13. M/s NK Kalyankar & Sons          2                          both at Reay Road

14. M/s Surprakash & Brothers       2                           both at Sewri

15. M/s RS Goyal & Sons                     2                          both at Wadala Road

16. M/s SB Gupta & sons                    2                           Govandi, Mankhurd

17. M/s RB enterprises                       1+2 kiosks          all at Dombivali

18. M/s SH Jondhale                           2                            both at Dombivali

19. M/s AK Irani & Co.                        2                           both at Kalyan Junction

20. M/s Shri US Diwadkar                4                           all at Kalyan Junction

21. M/s MK Kashyap Ent.                   2                         both at Kalyan Junction

22. M/s Badlmal Giyanumal & Sons3                       Ulhasnagar, Ambivali, Vangani

23. M/s Shri Udhavdas Ratanlal        2                        both at Ambarnath

24. M/s YS Diwadkar                             2                           Neral Junction, Karjat

25. NG Mukadam                                    1                             Titwala

26. DS Bedi                                                1                                 Shahad

27. M/s Sirumal Sevaram & Sons      1                                 Kalyan Junction

28. Pradip Kanagali                               1                            Kalyan Junction


There are four firms or persons who are awarded more than one book stall.

1. CB Pingle                                       2        Sion and GTB Nagar

2. SK Thatle & sons                         2        Vidyavihar and Kanjurmarg

3. Jaycee News agency                 2        Vitthalvadi and Ulhasnagar

4. Tribhuvan Tiwari                      2        both at Dockyard Road


Although the stalls are allotted to these chosen contractors, they may not be running it in person. Several such stalls are given on sub-let basis that often runs in to several lakh of rupees and the operator is shown as manager on paper.


When Singh asked if there was any stay order from any court that prevents the CR from inviting fresh tenders, the RTI reply says there was no case.


Another interesting aspect is the list does not have names like AH Wheeler & Co and Higginbothams, which till 2004 were had a monopoly in book stalls on railway platforms across the country, except Southern Railway and part of South Central Railway zones. In 2004, it had bookstores in 258 railway stations and used to contribute to about 80% of the revenues earned by the Indian Railways from book sales.


Following the new book policy adopted by the Railways in 2004, AH Wheeler lost its monopoly.



Veeresh Malik

4 years ago

This "Balan natural" can be found all over India at railway platforms and is anything but natural, selling mostly packaged products. Gossip connects them with a leading Congress party family where the son-in-law is an ever-rising and more rising star. How they managed to project themselves into this lucrative trade, and also managed to block off all real fresh food on so many railway platforms is supposed to be another story, backed by a leading MNC much in the news lately for re-purchasing their shares. . .

Realtors welcome rate cut; seek more reduction to boost sector

Commenting on the monetary policy, DLF Group executive director Rajeev Talwar said, “The rate cut is too little to give economy a boost. There is a need for further reduction.”

Welcoming the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) decision to cut the key policy rate by 0.25%, the real estate sector today said there is a need for further reduction so that the interest cost to builders and home buyers falls considerably.


“We sincerely hope that the RBI will keep up the trend of repo rate cut and facilitate a fall in interest rates so that EMI (equated monthly instalment) burden on common house buyer gets reduced considerably,” Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI) chairman Lalit Kumar Jain said in a statement.


CREDAI has over 10,000 members across the country.


The Reserve Bank today cut the short-term lending rate, or repo, by a minimal 0.25% to 7.25% and kept the liquidity enhancing cash reserve requirement unchanged.


The country’s largest realty firm DLF said that the rate cut was “too little” to boost realty sector as well as economy.


Commenting on the policy, DLF Group executive director Rajeev Talwar said, “The rate cut is too little to give economy a boost. There is a need for further reduction.”


However, he said that if the banks and housing finance companies pass on the rate cut to consumers, it would have a positive impact on the sector.


Echoing similar views, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) South Asia managing director Sachin Sandhir, welcomed the rate cut by the RBI. However, he said the realty sector requires more such incentives.


“To revive investments in the sector, we hope the apex bank would continue monetary easing in the coming months and would further reduce the rates,” Sandhir said.


PropEquity Founder and CEO Samir Jasuja said, “We welcome the repo rate cut of 25 basis points by RBI in the latest credit policy review. However the real estate sector requires larger cuts in the repo rate and we hope RBI continues monetary easing in the coming months.”


Assotech managing director Sanjeev Srivastva termed the repo rate cut as “a good move” and hoped that the rate cut would be passed on to consumers by financial institutions.


“It will boost the situation of recent sluggishness in investment activity and domestic sentiments because interest rate is an important component in driving the economy. It is although small in percentage but a good sentiment booster,” Srivastva said.


CREDAI stressed the need for the RBI formulating a special policy for the housing industry with focus on affordable housing. It urged RBI to remove negative weightage given to the real estate industry so that the commercial banks took a pragmatic and practical view of housing sector.



Vinay Joshi

4 years ago

Banks will not pass on the rate cut.


Sensex, Nifty await fresh signals: Friday Closing Report

A close below today’s low of 5,937 on Monday may be a first signal of reversal on the Nifty

The market snapped its three-day winning streak on selling pressure from banking, PSU, auto and realty stocks as the RBI, while announcing its monetary policy for the current fiscal, hinted at “little room” for future policy easing. A close below today’s low of 5,937 on Monday may be a first signal of reversal on the Nifty. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) reported a volume of 62.52 crore shares and advance-decline ratio of 511:807.


The Indian market opened in the red following announcement by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its review of the Indian economy on Thursday said there was “limited space” for monetary policy action. Meanwhile, Asian markets were higher in morning trade following news that the People's Bank of China ushered in new guidelines for foreign investors’ yuan denominated activities, which will promote the yuan’s overseas use. US markets closed over 1% higher overnight on better-than-expected weekly jobless claims numbers.


Back home, the Nifty opened five points down at 5,994 and the Sensex resumed trade at 19,708, a cut of 28 points from its previous close. Selling pressure from banking, auto and realty sectors led the decline in early trade.


The indices witnessed a sharp slide around 11.00am shortly after the announcement of the monetary policy by the RBI, even as the central bank cut the repo rate by 25 basis points to 7.25%, the lowest since May 2011.


The market recovered from the lows after a short while on support from capital goods and IT stocks. The gains helped the benchmarks hit their highs in the noon session with the Nifty scaling 6,000 and the Sensex moving up to 9,745.


The benchmarks could not sustain the gains as profit booking pulled the indices lower again. The market was range-bound in the post-noon session in the absence of any fresh cues. A fresh bout of selling in late trade led the benchmarks to their lows. The Nifty touched 5,930 and the Sensex went back to 19,543 at their respective lows.


The market snapped it three-day winning streak on selling pressure from rate-sensitive sectors like banking, PSU, realty and auto. At the close the Nifty lost 55 points (0.92%) at 5,944 and the Sensex finished the week at 19,576, down 160 points (0.81%).


Even as the broader indices settled lower, they outperformed the Sensex in today’s trade. The BSE Mid-cap index fell 0.26% and the BSE Small-cap index declined 0.39%.   


The top sectoral indices were BSE Metal (up 1.44%); BSE Capital Goods (up 0.92%; BSE TECk (up 0.49%); BSE IT (up 0.44%) and BSE Healthcare (up 0.22%). The main losers were BSE Bankex (down 2.40%); BSE PSU (down 1.52%); BSE Auto (down 1.50%); BSE Realty (down 1.39%) and BSE Consumer Durables (down 1.06%).


Twelve of the 30 stocks on the Sensex closed in the positive. The chief gainers were Jindal Steel & Power (up 4.22%); Hindalco Industries (up 2.30%); Tata Steel (up 2.22%); Sun Pharmaceuticals (up 1.84%) and Sterlite Industries (up 1.36%). The key losers were Tata Motors (down 3.76%); State Bank of India (down 3.60%); ICICI Bank (down 3.57%); GAIL India (down 2.99%) and 2.56%).


The top two A Group gainers on the BSE were—Shree Renuka Sugars (up 7.03%) and GVK Power & Infrastructure (up 6.87%).

The top two A Group losers on the BSE were—Moser Baer India (down 5.39%) and Zee Entertainment Enterprises (down 3.58%).


The top two B Group gainers on the BSE were—MIC Electronics (up 19.04%) and Landmarc Leisure Corporation (up 18.60%).

The top two B Group losers on the BSE were— Golden Legand Leasing & Finance (down 50%) and Nagarjuna Fertilisers & Chemicals (down 0.94%).


Of the 50 stocks on the Nifty, 17 ended in the green. The key gainers were JSPL (up 3.81%); Hindalco Ind (up 2.34%); Tata Steel (up 2.22%); HCL Technologies (up 2.21%) and Sesa Goa (up 1.90%). The major loses were Tata Motors (down 3.99%); SBI (down 3.80%); IDFC (down 3.73%); ICICI Bank (down 3.56%) and DLF (down 3.41%).


Markets in Asia closed on a mixed note today. Some markets took support from the European Central Bank’s move on Thursday to cut the key refinancing rate to a record low of 0.5%, from 0.75% earlier and reduced the marginal lending rate to 1% from 1.5%. However, the Jakarta Composite declined 1.4%, its steepest drop since 22nd March, after S&P yesterday revised its outlook on Indonesia’s BB+ rating to stable from positive.


The Shanghai Composite surged 1.44%; the Hang Seng added 0.10%; the Seoul Composite gained 0.43% and the Taiwan Weighted rose 0.08%.Among the losers, the Jakarta Composite declined 1.37%; the KLSE Composite dropped 1.095 and the Straits Times fell 0.95%. The Japanese market was closed for a local holiday.


At the time of writing, two of the three key European indices were in the green while the US stock futures were marginally in the red, ahead of the release of the jobs report for April.


Back home, foreign institutional investors were net buyers of shares totalling Rs1,429.94 crore on Thursday while domestic institutional investors were net sellers of equities aggregating Rs899.07 crore.


Hindustan Copper (HCL) has decided to spend about Rs533 crore for trebling production capacity at its Khetri Copper Complex (KCC) in next five years, mines minister Dinsha Patel said today. “The company has taken steps to enhance ore production of KCC mines from current one million tonnes (MT) to 3.1 MT with modern equipment and technology,” Patel said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. The stock fell 0.20% to close at Rs99.95 on the NSE.


Crompton Greaves, belonging to the Avantha Group, has signed a joint venture agreement with Indonesia’s PT Prima Layanan Nasional Enjinring (PLNE) to manufacture High Voltage (HV) and Extra High Voltage (EHV) switchgear in that country. While Crompton Greaves would have a 51% stake in the venture, PLNE, an engineering company belonging to an Indonesian government company Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), would own 49% stake. Crompton Greaves surged 1.23% to Rs94.55 on the NSE.


IL&FS Engineering and Construction Company has been awarded with Integrated Management Systems (IMS) certificates by TUV Nord, a German certification body. These separate certifications are for quality management system, environmental management system and occupational, health and safety assessment series covering all business sectors. The stock declined 0.90% to settle at Rs38.75 on the NSE.


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