Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal has said that Indian Railways has taken Wi-Fi to 710 railway stations, while claiming 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, Goyal also 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 that is a 35,000 percent increase over a period of three years.
While discussing how technology can improve both passenger experience and freight transport, he 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. In railways, there are 444,000 tenders. The multiplicity of tenders will lead to cost inefficiency. Hence, the clubbing of items and data mining could help reduce procurement inefficiency. 150 thousand crores of procurement is truly quite a large procurement and if we can look at an initial saving of 15-20 percent that in my standard is the least that we can save”.
He also spoke about engaging with private sector and young population and said, “A rapid scale-up of technology is what the nation expects out of us, and that’s where we can take the help of the 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, 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 commended 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”.
Emphasising the significance of technology for the Indian Railways, Goyal termed ‘Technology’ as the defining factor that will help Indian railways change both its direction and its face.