Mangaluru, Dec 03, 2018: Railway passengers in and around Mangaluru looking for automated teller machines (ATMs) can expect a better deal. A policy shift from Railway Ministry encourages opening ATMs on Railway premises for passenger convenience.
Mangaluru Central that witnesses daily average footfall of over 31,000 does not seem to have an ATM. Those in need of cash have to walk at least a km to reach the nearest ATM in Hampanakatte. Though three banks had opened ATMs at Central, they had to close it because of exorbitant rent.
Similarly, there is no ATM closeby for Mangaluru Junction Station too, which witnesses nearly 5,000 footfall every day. Passengers in dire need of cash have to come all the way to Mangaluru city to withdraw cash from ATMs. Railways had been charging 6% of the land value as the base rent to open ATMs with annual 7% increase in the lease rental thereby dissuading banks from providing the service on Railway premises.
However, the Ministry came out with a revised ATM policy terming ATM a service and not a commercial activity. Lease rent for ATMs should be decided by market forces and there should not be any reserve price for the lease rent, the policy said.
The policy said quotes/bids have to be invited from banks to open ATMs on the Railway premises and the lease should be given to the highest bidder. The Railways may even persuade banks to open ATMs on their premises wherever required, the policy said.
Tenders : As the new policy has authorised general managers of zones and divisional railway managers of divisions to decide about the location of ATMs, the Railways may invite tenders for setting up ATMs soon. Banks, which had closed their ATMs at Mangaluru Central thus, may come back, sources in Southern Railway said.