Union Railway Minister, Suresh Prabhu presented the Rail Budget for 2016-17 in the Lok Sabha on Thursday. He also made some striking tech related announcements which in reality could uplift the face of Indian railways.
1) Radio Stations : Prabhu has invited radio stations to offer entertainment services through the railway’s personal address system on stations and also plans to have FM radio stations for trains as well.
2) . Clean my coach service: Keeping cleanliness in view, the Ministry has unveiled a new SMS service through which passengers can ask for cleaning their coaches. Passengers will just have to drop an SMS with their PNR number at 58888 and the cleaning staff will attend to them at the next station.
3) Automated ticket vending machines: The Ministry has also proposed to install 1,780 automated ticket vending machines to handle the length lines at ticket counters. The Minister also announced provision for bar-coded tickets to keep a check on ticketless travelers.
4) Increase in ticketing capacity : Online booking capacity will be increased to 7,200 per minute. Currently, 2,000 tickets can be booked in a minute.
5) Wi-Fi : The Railway Ministry plans to set up free Wi-Fi services in as many as 100 stations across the country by the end of this year. The department along with tech giant Google has already enabled Wi-Fi at Mumbai Central with plans to install it in nearly 400 stations by next year.
6) GPS based display : Also plans to install GPS based 20,000 displays across 2,000 stations. This will not only keep the passengers informed of the upcoming stations but also help the government to keep a track of trains through GPS technology.
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