New Delhi: Indian Railways is planning to auction 2,000 ATM sites across the country for a period of 10 years to generate revenue through its extra-budgetary resources. The railways, which is in talks with several private and public sector banks, is hoping to generate a revenue of over 500 crore.

A senior railway ministry official requesting anonymity said, “We are in talks with several banks and financial institutions and they have shown keen interest. The initial offer we are getting is 25 lakh per site from a public sector bank and we are hopeful that it’s likely to increase."

Explaining the idea, he said the plan has been mooted because a long-term lease can generate revenue and especially if a company has exclusive rights for all railway stations across the country.

Besides, it will be more passenger-friendly as there would be assured ATM services at all railway stations across the country. Non-fare revenue directorate executive director R.P. Thakur confirmed the move and said, “We are aiming to generate revenue of around 2,000 crore from these initiatives."

He refused to comment further adding that the projects are aimed to be completed in the current fiscal only.

This is the fourth move by the Indian Railways’ newly-formed non-fare revenue directorate to generate funds for the national carrier through extra budgetary resources.Earlier, they were already in the final stage of implementing the idea of big screens across the railway stations for advertisement and rail information display and introduction of rail radio and infotainment to generate revenue.