New Delhi: Delhi Metro has been auctioning used poly-bags, water bottles, lunchboxes, umbrellas and helmets left behind by commuters in trains and stations every six months. That it’s a smart move can be gauged from the fact that, in November last year, the auction generated Rs 2.1 lakh.
A Delhi Metro Rail Corporation spokesperson said, “The number of items collected till date is 17,000. Of these, only 1,325 were claimed. We conduct these auctions every six months.”
According to Delhi Metro, the most common items found are bags and poly-bags. “The auctioning is done through tenders. The highest bid gets the items. These items are generally treated as scrap,” added the official.
Obviously, scrap can generate revenue. While the November auction is one of the most successful conducted by Delhi Metro, auctions thereafter or before haven’t been too bad either. An auction in July got the Delhi Metro Rs 26,099 while another one in April last year got the DMRC Rs 37,100.
The most expensive item found on a Delhi Metro train till date is a Rado watch. That, however, was returned as the owner turned up to claim it within hours. “We try and ensure most of the items are returned. But most commuters don’t come back for inexpensive items like lunchboxes or poly-bags,” said a Delhi Metro official.
The auctions, however, are not advertised in the commuter network. The reason, say Delhi Metro officials, is that the lost and found section is advertised in stations and on trains. “Wallets are generally returned to commuters after verification. Water bottles, lunchboxes and poly-bags are not claimed,” said the official.
With a ridership of over 27 lakh, revenue generated from the auction may not be much. “But it serves a purpose, as we can’t keep the items with us indefinitely,” said the official.