NEW DELHI: Stressing the need for high-speed Internet connectivity in the remotest parts of the country, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday said that about 6,000 railway stations will be Wi-Fi enabled in six to eight months.
“We believe that if we have to leverage digital technology, the basic thing is to ensure access to technology in the remotest part of the country,” Goyal said at the ‘Smart Railways Conclave’ organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. He said that the Railways is working on a programme to ensure last-mile connectivity, wherever there were no fibre optics network. “We are hopeful that in the next six to eight months, all railway stations other than halt stations about 6,000 stations will be Wi-Fi enabled,” the Minister said.
“We are focusing on the implementation of smart projects. We will have to start thinking, planning, and working smartly. I think that’s the change that you must have seen in the last four years.” The Minister stressed on the punctuality of trains and said that between April 1 and August 28, punctuality had improved to 73-74 per cent due to installation of data loggers at interchange points to ensure computer-generated timings instead of the station master recording the timings.
“We are working on putting GPS on every locomotive so that we will have every train marked on mobile phone, knowing exactly where they are,” he said. “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. Two knowledge papers on ‘FICCI-EY Report on Make in India in Railways Sector’ and ‘FICCI-AT Kearney Report on Technology: Transforming Railways Transportation’ were released on the occasion.