New Delhi: Around 6,000 railway stations will be WiFi-enabled in the next six-eight months, Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal said on Tuesday.
While speaking at Smart Railways Conclave’ organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Goyal said,”We believe that if we have to leverage digital technology, the basic ingredient is to ensure access to technology in the remotest part of the country. The Railways are working on a program to do the last mile connectivity wherever we do not have fibre optics in our network. We are hopeful that in next six to eight months all railway stations, other than the halt stations, about six thousand stations will be Wi-Fi enabled.”
On punctuality of trains, the Railway Minister said that between April 1 and today, punctuality has improved to 73-74% as railways have made a smart change by replacing the practice of the station-master recording the time with data loggers placed at interchange points across the network that ensure computer generated time.
“We are working on putting a GPS device on every locomotive so that we will have every train marked on the mobile phone, knowing exactly where they are.”
Emphasising on project implementation, Goyal said, “We are focusing on smarter project implementation. We will have to start thinking, planning, and working smartly. I think that’s the change that you would have seen in the last four years.”
He said that the Railway Ministry was looking at simple and smarter interventions to make railways efficient. “We are looking at electrification in a big way which will save $2 billion every year, which otherwise I would have to charge the passengers. With efficient Railways, we won’t have to burden the poor,” he said.
On the occasion, the Minister and other dignitaries released two knowledge papers namely, ‘FICCI-EY Report on Make in India in Railways Sector’ and ‘FICCI-A.T. Kearney Report on Technology: Transforming Railways Transportation’.