The Western Railway has floated a tender in the name of the President of India.
This is routine procedure. Just that the tender is for plucking coconuts from trees on railway property.
The Western Railway’s Mumbai division has at least 76 coconut trees on its properties across the city.
The problem arose when the fully-grown trees started producing fruit.
“The railways just cannot sell off the coconuts on its own and earn money. Since it is a government undertaking, we have to follow certain protocol and procedures and it was decided to call bids to pluck coconuts and offer the task to the winning bidder,” a Western Railway official said requesting anonymity.
This way, the railways will dispose of the coconuts for the best possible price and maintain standard practices too.
The railways even call this a “project”.
“The project period is 12 months and the tender document costs Rs 1,000,” the official added.
“It may sound funny, but this speaks volumes about the genuine transparency practices and open work culture of the Western Railway,” the official said.
“We have floated a proposal for the smallest project,” he added.
The railways in Mumbai has been involved with different farming activities such as developing gardens and small fields on railway premises.
At many places along the suburban line, the railways allow faming activities under the central government’s ‘Grow More Food Scheme’ that encourages growing leafy vegetables or promotes farming simply to stop encroachment on the land.