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PCO Booth licenses

Policy on Allotment of booths having STD/ISD/Local Call/Fax/Internet Facility:

1.         Objective:

To provide passengers easy and user friendly access to means of communication.

2.         Scale and Number of booths:

2.1For the purpose of providing booths having STD/ISD/Local call/Fax/ Internet facility, stations will be classified into various categories as under:

Category A


Non-suburban with an annual passenger earnings of Rs.6 crores and above.

Category B-I


Non suburban stations with an annual passenger earnings between Rs.3 crores to Rs.6 crores.

Category B-II


Stations of tourism importance or an important junction station (to be decided by General Manager)

Category C


All Suburban stations.

Category D


Non suburban station with passenger earnings between Rs.1 crore and Rs.3 crores.



Non suburban station with earnings less than Rs.1 crore.

Category F



2.2At A class stations upto 2 booths having STD/ISD/Local Call/Fax/Internet facility will be provided at each platform. Combined platform will be called a single platform for this purpose. In case of important stations serving metropolitan towns, State Capitals etc. where there is sizeable traffic, this facility will also be provided in the concourse and the circulating area and the number of booths to be provided at these places will be decided by the Divisional Railway Managers.

2.3At B and C class stations, one booth will be provided at each platform.

2.4At D class stations, two such booths will be provided.

2.5At and F class stations, one booth will be provided if considered justified by the Division.

2.6At stations, which are heavily congested or stations where need for providing booths having STD/ISD/Local Call/Fax/Internet facility, as per the norms prescribed above, is not felt, lesser number of booths may be provided with specific approval of Divisional Railway Manager.

2.7Divisional Railway Manager will assess the requirements of booths having STD/ISD/Local call/Fax/Internet facility for each category of stations on the division as per the norms mentioned above.

2.8Places where this facility will be located will be identified in such a way that it does not hamper passenger movement but at the same time is accessible to the passengers.

2.9The Telephones shall be provided by BSNL/MTNL or any other authorised service provider duly selected in that State and operating under regulations of TRAI.

3.         Operation of Booths:

These booths will be operated by duly selected booth operators who should provide good quality of customer service.

4.         Eligibility criteria for selection of booth operators (for all category of applicant/stations):

I.          The booth operators to be selected should be educated unemployed persons. No educational qualification is necessary for reserved categories such as SC/ST/OBC/Women/Physically Handicapped including blind persons.

II.          The applicants should not be less than 18 years of age on the date of opening of tender. There is no upper age limit.

III.         Educational Qualifications:

            The educational qualification requirement is as under: -

i)At least matric or high school and above for urban areas.

ii)8th or middle pass and above for rural areas.

IV.        Antecedents:

Before awarding of the licence, the antecedents or the applicants should be got verified by Police.


V.        In case of D, E & F category stations, the applicant should be a local resident. The residence would be treated as local residence, if it is located within the same district in which the station, where the booth is proposed to be allotted, is also located. For this, the applicant will be required to submit a certificate of local residence from the DM/ADM of the district in which the station is located or Voter Identity Card.


5.         Vertical and Horizontal Reservation in allotment:

The booths will be divided into 3 broad categories i.e., educated unemployed youth, physically handicapped and women. There will be quotas within this broad category as under:

5.1       The vertical and horizontal reservation percentage in allotment of the STD/ISD/Local call/FAX/Internet booths at stations will be as under:


Total percentage

Percentage reserved for various categories

Scheduled Caste

Scheduled Tribe

Other Backward Class

General (Unreserved)

Educated Unemployed Youth


15% of 50% i.e., 7.5%

7.5% of 50% i.e., 3.75%

27% of 50% i.e., 13.5%

50.5% of 50% i.e., 2.25%

Physically Handicapped (including Blind Disability 40% and above)


15% of 25% i.e., 3.75%

7.5% of 25% i.e., 1.875%

27% of 25% i.e., 6.75%

50.5% of 25% i.e., 12.625%

Women including War widows and railway employees widows)


15% of 25% i.e., 3.75%

7.5% of 25% i.e., 1.875%

27% of 25% i.e., 6.75%

50.5% of 25% i.e., 12.625%







5.2       The quota as specified above shall be maintained on Divisional basis.

5.3       For the purpose of working out number of booths to be allotted to various categories of persons at various categories of stations, the following procedure shall be adopted:


The number of stations located on a Division will be segregated category wise i.e., A, B, C, D, E & F. After this has been done, a serial number should be given to each booth at the station e.g. at Nagpur station, the booths will be numbered as NGP/1, NGP/2 etc. The number of booths assessed for all A class stations on the Division will be clubbed and thereafter distributed by adopting principle of vertical and horizontal reservation. The same procedure will be adopted for B and C class stations. The total requirement at D, and F class stations will be clubbed together for entire division and this will be treated as one block and thereafter the same principle as mentioned above, will be adopted. To illustrate, if there are 100 booths to be allotted at all A class stations of a particular division, 25 will be allotted to physically handicapped persons, 25 to ladies and 50 to unemployed youth. Amongst the 25 booths allotted to physically handicapped persons, 15% will be allotted to SC, 7.5% to ST and 27% to OBC and the remaining 50.5% to the general public.  The same method will be adopted in case of women and unemployed youth. The category of persons to which these booths will be allotted, will be determined through a draw of lots to be done by any child separately for A, B and C category of stations and on combined basis for D, E, and F stations.  For one time identification of booths, a committee of 3 Officers at Assistant/Senior Scale level should be constituted by the DRM. In this manner, each booth will be allotted a specific number and category of person for allotment, which is to be, called its booth ID.

5.4       After the present contract is over or in case of termination of contract etc., the booths should be allotted to the person belonging to the category as per the booth ID.  Moreover, future tenders will be booth specific only. In case, due to construction of new platforms etc., additional booths are to be set up, the identification for these booths will be done through a draw of lots to be done by any child based on the remaining category of persons of the table as per the procedure prescribed above.

6.         Procedure for Selection:

6.1       For allotment of booths at A, B & C category of stations, two packet tendering system will be followed.  For D, and F category of stations, the allotment will be done by the General Manager on the recommendations of the screening committee. The detailed procedure will be as under:

6.1.1Procedure for A, B and C category of stations:

Offers shall be invited by the division concerned through advertisements in the National/State level/Local Newspaper etc.  Two packet tender system viz., Packet A and Packet B should be followed.

6.1.2Packet A containing the technical offer will be opened first and should inter-alia have following documents:

i)Authenticated documents showing educational qualification of the applicant.

ii)Income Tax clearance certificate along with affidavit declaring assets and liabilities.

iii)Documents showing that the party has the requisite financial resources to pay the necessary MTNL/BSNL charges etc. for getting the connection as well as constructing/installing a booth at the earmarked site and capacity to pay Railway License fee, as also for employing staff to man the Booth.

iv)Earnest money as stipulated.

6.1.3   Packet B which is the financial offer shall be opened after short listing on the basis of Packet A and shall contain the financial bids only and no other document. The financial bid shall have two components.  The first one shall comprise an undertaking for paying the land licence fee as notified by the Railway Administration from time to time. The second component shall be an offer in terms of percentage of the commission payable to him by the telephone service provider i.e., BSNL, MTNL or any other authorised service provider which shall in no case be less than 10% of the commission payable to him. The maximum will also not be more than 100%. If any tenderer quotes more than 100% commission, the tender will be treated as invalid. This should be specifically mentioned in the tender papers.

6.1.4   After the bids have been received, a Tender Committee comprising  Officers of appropriate level including one from Commercial and another from Finance Department will scrutinise the Packet A and short list those who qualify in technical offer. Thereafter, Packet B of only those bidders who qualify for opening of their financial bids in Packet A will be opened. The highest offer received should be considered for acceptance by the approving authority i.e., Divisional Railway Manager.  However, as the highest bid has been restricted to 100% of the commission, there will be a draw of lots to be done by any child if there are more than one candidate offering same highest bid. Candidates should be advised the date, time and venue of the draw by Courier/Regd. AD to enable them to attend it if they so desire.

6.1.5   The commission together with land license fee will be paid by booth operators to Railway authority. Applicants for each booth will be called for and considered separately.


6.2       Procedure for selection for D, & F category stations:

6.2.1   The two packet tender system will not be followed for these categories of stations.  Applications will be called for by the division by giving suitable advertisements in the National/State-level/local newspapers etc. The eligibility criteria will be decided as per Para 4 and the applicants shall also enclose documents as specified in Para 6.1.2 (i to iv) above.

6.2.2   After the applications have been received, a screening committee of the Division consisting of Officers of appropriate level including one from Commercial and Finance Departments shall scrutinise and shortlist the eligible offers. The allotment of booth will then be made by the DRM through a draw of lots and the draw of lots should be done by any child. All the eligible candidates should be advised the date, time and venue of the draw through Courier/Regd. AD so that they may attend the draw if they so desire.


7.         License Fee and other charges:

            The following charges will be realised from the booth operator:

7.1       Land licence fee at a uniform rate of 20% of the notified cost of the land price prevailing at the stations as notified by the Railway from time to time will be paid in respect of all category of stations and the same will be increased by 10% every year. Exact amount of land licence fee will be worked out and mentioned in the tender document.

7.2       Commission: I) The percentage as agreed upon shall be the commission payable in case of A, B, C type of stations (this percentage shall in no case be less than 10% of the commission payable to the booth operators by the service provider i.e., BSNL/MTNL/or any other authorised service provider. ii) In case of D, E, F category of stations, minimum 10% of commission payable to the booth operators by the service provider i.e., BSNL/MTNL/or any other authorised service provider is payable to Railways. The percentage of commission to be charged for each station failing under D, E & F categories of stations will however be fixed by the Division in consultation with their Associate Finance subject to minimum of 10%.

8.         Terms and Conditions for Allotment:

8.1       Only one booth would be allotted to one person. An undertaking should be obtained that applicant is not operating another STD/ISD/PCO/Fax/ Internet booth on the Indian Railway premises.

8.2       The maximum size of the booth will be 5 x 6.

8.3       Two telephone lines will be permitted in one booth.

8.4       The booth holders will be permitted to install FAX facility within the space allotted and in case FAX facility is installed, an additional telephone connection may be permitted.  The booth holders shall also be permitted to install internet kiosk for which 10% space of the area be given extra on payment of additional land license fee.  However, care should be taken not to congest the platforms.

8.5(a) For operating the booth, the licensee will pay one years annual land license fee in advance before construction permission is granted.

(b) Commission shall be paid by the licensee to the Railways based on commission payable to him by MTNL/BSNL etc.

(c) The initial land license fee decided at the time of signing of the agreement will be increased @ 10% for every subsequent year.

8.6The earnest money deposit will be retained by Railways as part of the security deposit. Security deposit equal to 6 months land license fee shall be deposited by the successful bidder.

8.7The period of contract would be for five years. This would be extended for another five years, by the competent authority on recommendations of Divisional Commercial Manager/Senior Divisional Commercial Manager with finance concurrence provided the performance of the booth operator is satisfactory and full license fee is regularly deposited during the tenure. License will be for a maximum period of 10 years only including extension period and no further extension shall be permitted. Railways should take timely action to call fresh bids well in advance (preferably six months in advance) and not renew any of the contracts after the expiry of contractual period of 10 years including extension.

8.8MTNL/BSNL/or any other authorised service provider bills would form the basis for realising the commission for all facilities given to the licensees.

8.9No subletting of premises/booth will be allowed.

8.10In case of death of the licensee during the tenure of the contract, the license may be transferred in the name of his/her spouse or legal heirs of category 1 of succession Act for the un-expired period only irrespective of the fact whether he/she belongs to the category under which the license was accorded but subject to conditions that he/she will get the telephone booth transferred in his/her favour from the BSNL/MTNL/or any other service provider.

8.11For easy identification of PCO booth by the rail users, yellow colour with black border should be used. They should conform to standardized design made by Railways.

8.12In order to ensure that the facility is availed only by the person in whose favour, the license has been granted, it would be mandatory for the licensee to operate the booth personally at least in one shift of 8 hours.

8.13The party who has been allotted booth will have to start the booth within one month of allotment failing which his/her allotment may be cancelled and earnest money forfeited.

9.         Monitoring of Performance/Payment:

(i)Feed back about performance from the users of the facility should be gathered.

(ii)There should be a periodical check on the service being provided.

(iii)Quarterly paid statement should be prepared by accounts department and given to Commercial department. Details to include the confirmation about the timely payment by the party and the position of outstanding dues, if any.

(iv)A separate dossier to be maintained for recording performance of the party.

(v)An Officer should be nominated at Divisional/Zonal Railway Headquarters to monitor:

(a)       Timely payment

(b)       Satisfactory performance of service etc.

10.       The Railway Administration will have the right to impose fine/terminate the license if the licensee is not conforming to the conditions laid down by the Railways and if there are complaints against him/her for overcharging etc. The contract will be terminated after issuing due notice. The termination of the license may be done on the basis of the defaults committed by the licensee and at least 3 chances may be afforded by imposing fine. 

11.       Fresh allotments of STD/ISD/PCO/FAX/Internet Booths will be made only as per this new policy guidelines.

Tender forms and General Conditions for allotment of PCO Booths

Source : South Central Railway CMS Team Last Reviewed : 21-03-2014  

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