Union Rail Minister Piyush Goyal said that Indian Railways has taken Wi-Fi to 710 railway stations and claimed that it is the best in the country in terms of speed.
Addressing a seminar on leveraging information technology for mobility in Delhi on Thursday, Mr Goyal highlighted the exponential growth in paperless ticketing and said that Paperless Unreserved Tickets have moved up from 195 in 2014-15 to 67,000 last year. “It’s a 35,000 per cent increase over a period of three years,” he said.
Taking about the use of technology for improving the passenger experience and freight transport, the minister said, “GPS is a tried and tested method. It will help us completely eliminate the fudging of data on train movement and help us track the 22,000 trains, both passenger and freight, on a real-time basis.”
Mr Goyal also said that railways have 4,44,000 tenders. “The multiplicity of tenders will lead to cost inefficiency. Hence, the clubbing of items and data mining could help reduce procurement inefficiency,” he said.
He also spoke about engaging with the private sector and youngsters. “A rapid scale-up of technology is what the nation expects out of us, and that’s where we can take the help of private sector in helping us develop and use that technology.”
He further urged the youngsters in the railways’ team to engage with new ideas and said, “I am sure we will get some game-changing results, which will truly help better the passenger and freight customer experience as well as to make it sustainable and satisfying.”
Talking about transformations in Railways, Mr Goyal said, “There are so many new transformations that the railways are working on related to the tracks, safety, signalling, catering, punctuality, and modernizing our inspection processes which will make them more efficient and clinically sound.”
The minister also acknowledged the efforts of his team in increasing the efficiency of the Indian Railways and applauded them for their efforts. He said, “I don’t know any other department which collects data the way railways does, but how efficiently and effectively we use that data is the defining success story that we are looking for. And this is surely possible with the high-quality team that we have in railways”.
“Technology is the defining factor and will help Indian railways change its direction and face,” the minister said.