CHAPTER  

PURCHASE OF SLEEPERS

 

1001.    Kind of sleepers.—Sleepers of three kinds :— (i) Wooden Sleepers; 

(ii) Metal Sleepers, which may be of:— 

(a)  Cast Iron; or 

(b)  Steel; and 

(hi) Concrete Sleepers. 

Changes.—The category of Concrete Sleepers has been added. 

1002.    General Procedure for Procurement of Sleepers.—Procurement of sleepers is centralised in the Railway Board along with other centralised track items. 

1003.    Demand of Sleepers.—The requirement of sleepers are for planned- track renewal works, new constructions and doublings approved by the Railway Board.   In addition, there are also small requirements for casual renewal works for day to day maintenance of the track.   The annual requirement of various types of sleepers namely, wooden, cast iron, steel and concrete sleepers is reviewed in the annual Chief Track Engineers' conference with the Railway Board, which is generally held in the month of January/February each year, a head of the commencement of the next financial year. 

Keeping in view the actual requirement as assessed in the conference, the funds position and availability of sleepers in the country, the Railway Board makes specific allotment for various types of sleepers to the zonal railways. The allotments are done separately for open line & construction. In respect of wooden sleepers, separate allotment is made for S&T works. 

Procurement action for wooden, steel and concrete sleepers is initiated by the Board directly on the basis of the allotment decided. Railways are not required to submit any vetted indents. The demand for these three types of sleepers far exceeds the available capacity in the country. 

In regard to cast iron sleepers, the zonal railways are required to submit vetted indents for their actual demand. The procurement action for this type of sleeper is initiated by the Railway Board on receipt of vetted indents. 

1004.    Procurement of Wooden Sleepers:—The wooden sleepers are made available by the forest departments of various states. An annual sleeper conference held by the Railway Board with the conservators of forests of various states where the availability of wooden sleepers is reviewed. The Railway Board distributes the available quantity of sleepers to the various Railways on the basis of this meeting. 

The commitments made by the Conservator of Forests are valid for one year, known as 'Sleeper Year', which extends from 1st November to 31st October of next year. 

The rates are also decided in this meeting. 

The following 5 Railways have been nominated to procure the sleepers as per the allotment made by the Railway Board and on the rates decided in the meeting : 

N.R., N.E., N.F., S.E., and S.R. 

These Railways inspect the sleepers offered by the forest departments and arrange to lift and distribute it to the various consignees on their own Railways as well as other Railways. Demands are made by these nominated Railways. 

1005 to 1025—Deleted. 

1026. Sleeper Specification.—The procurement of sleepers will be done as per the specification approved by the Railway Board. 

1027 to 1031.—Deleted. 

SHORT RECEIPT OF SLEEPERS FROM SLEEPER POOL OR THE FOREST DEPARTMENT 

1032.    Opening of Wagons.—Whenever possible, Wagons should be opened in the presence of a Traffic Clerk or authorized representative of the Railway bringing the wagons into the siding, and a remark should be made in the Delivery Book regarding any discrepancies as regards seals or labels or other irregular circumstances. 

1033.    Verification by Traffic Staff.—In case of short receipt of sleepers, the consignees should get the Traffic Staff to verify and report the shortage by telegram to the sending station and last sealing station.   It is essential that no time should be lost in having the shortage verified by the Traffic Staff, as, unless the telegram reporting the shortage is issued within six hours of the wagon being opened, foreign railways will not accept liability. 

1034.    Telegraphic Report, Discrepancy Reports and Claims Forms.—A copy of the telegram together with all seals and labels of the wagon together with Discrepancy Report and Claim Form, duly certified by the Traffic Clerk in whose presence the wagon was opened should be sent by the consignee to the Chief Operating Superintendent, and two copies each to the Chief Engineer and Controller of Stores.   After filling the value of the missing sleepers, one copy of each of the above documents should be sent to the Chief Operating Superintendent. 

1035.    It is important that Claim Form and Discrepancy Report should be sent promptly to the Chief Operating Superintendent to prevent the claim from becoming time-barred. 

1036.    Missing Consignments.—In cases where the railway receipt has been received and the entire consignment is missing, the consignee, after a fortnight, should remind the Chief Operating Superintendent of the railway concerned, and if the sleepers have not turned up after a month, he should send a Missing Stores Report to the Chief Commercial Manager (vide paragraph 2131-S). 

1037.    Acknowledgement of Missing Sleepers after Trace.—Missing sleepers on receipt, should be acknowledged under a fresh acknowledgment form, and the parties concerned advised so that the claim on the Traffic Department may be withdrawn. 

1038.    Bills relating to Short Received or Missing Consignments.—The bill, in the case of a part or full consignment being missing, should not be detained but should be accepted and passed with necessary remarks to the Chief Accounts Officer.   A bill for defective sleepers, however, should not be passed.    It should be detained by the District Engineer or Controller of Stores, until the question is finally settled. 

METAL SLEEPERS 

1039.    Procurement of Cast Iron Sleepers.—The zonal railway submit vetted indents for the requirements of cast iron sleepers to the Railway Board (S-1003).   The procurement is done by the Railway Board.   The procurement is made from trade. 

1040.    Procurement of Steel Sleepers.—The steel sleepers are also procured by the Railway Board.   However, no indents are submitted by Zonal Railways.   The procurement is done on the basis of the allotment made by the Railway Board in the annual Chief Track Engineers' Conference (S-1003). Durgapur Steel Plant is the only supplier of the steel sleepers.   The entire production of the plant is taken by the Railways, the actual requirement being far in excess of the production. 

The rates are as fixed by the Joint Plant Committee. 

CONCRETE SLEEPERS 

1041.    The supplies of concrete sleepers are made by concrete sleeper plants which have been established at various locations in the country, as per requirements of the Railways.   These are mostly in private sector, though a few plants are in Railway/Public Sector also.   These locations are distributed all over the country and have been chosen to facilitate the supply of concrete sleepers from the plants to specified sections of the Railway. 

The Railway Board invites open tenders for setting up the concrete sleeper plants at the desired locations for supply of concrete sleepers from the plant. The contracts are entered on lone term basis (generally for 5/10 years' period) since placement of contracts on annual basis has not been found economically viable. The basic rate for sleeper is given in the contracts with provision for escalation for items like cement, labour, etc. The contracts are signed by the Zonal Railways in whose jurisdiction the factory is to be established. The entire production of the plant is taken by the Zonal Railway as per the terms and conditions of the contract.