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RAIL BUDGET 2013-14

Free Wi-Fi facility on select trains

Thomas K. Thomas
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Free Wi-Fi facility will be made available in a few select trains. Photo: P.V. Sivakumar
Free Wi-Fi facility will be made available in a few select trains. Photo: P.V. Sivakumar

Project to enable booking tickets on mobile phones on cards

Soon you will be able to access Internet on your smartphones and laptops while travelling by train.

The Railways is planning to provide Wi-Fi based connectivity to passengers free-of-charge.

While presenting the Indian Railway Budget 2013, Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal has announced free Wi-Fi facility that will be made available in select trains for passengers.

Bansal has also announced a project that will allow passengers to book railway tickets from their mobile phones. Passengers will also get SMS alerts’ system which will provide updates on the reservation status.

“As a follow-up to overwhelming response to the Indian Railways Web site and integrated train inquiry service under 193, a project of SMS alerts to passengers providing updates on reservation status is being rolled out shortly,’’ the Railway Minister said in his speech.

Bansal said that there will be a provision of covering large number of trains under real time information system whereby users will be able to access information through nominated Web sites and mobile phones.

The Indian Railways had earlier launched RailRadar, a Web site that shows the current geographical location of any train on a Google Map.

Nextgen e-ticketing system

In order to ease congestion on the IRCTC Web site while booking tickets, Bansal announced that by the end of this calendar year, the Railways will put in place a next generation e-ticketing system.

The system will be able to support 7,200 tickets per minute against 2,000 tickets per minute at present. The system will support 1,20,000 simultaneous users at any point in time against the present capacity of 40,000 users.

The system will make use of advance fraud control and security management tools thereby further improving transparency in sale of tickets.

“This will bring about a paradigm shift in Internet rail ticketing by significantly improving the end user experience with respect to ease of use, response time as well as capacity,’’ Bansal said.

Aadhar-linked tickets

The Railways is also planning to link train tickets with Aadhar cards to tackle the menace of touts in bookings.

“We are exploring the possibility of linking Aadhar system with issuing of train tickets and if this happens, the tout menace will be effectively curbed in ticketing system,’’ he said.

thomas.thomas@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on February 26, 2013)
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