If we study the railway budget in detail, the railway ministry has given an improved focus on technology, customer service, and investments in the current budget. It is aligned to the vision of our PM Sri Narendra Modi of a Digital India. Making most of the internal processes of one of the largest Indian state owned enterprise digital and automated itself is a daunting task. But if it can be done, the government will be able to save a lot on its exchequer.
There are many areas where the railway ministry is investing in technology in a mammoth way, both to manage the customers and their internal operations. A few of them are listed below.
Central paperless asset purchase and approval system based on online bidding, central paperless expense management and approval system. These are all huge changes and the impact of which will come in the long term only and not short term.
The foreseen results of the changes could be cost saving, revenue loss reduction, better quality, better transparency, efficiency etc.
WIFI, radio, TV, hi-tech toilets, announcements, new coaches, new cargo bogies, new rails, increasing the speed of trains etc. are going to bring so much of improvement for the common man and for our country.
People will be able to access internet through the mobile phones at railway stations, free of cost, as almost 400 stations have been planned to have free WIFI services. Not only that railway budget has plans to raise e-ticketing capacity making it all more easier for mobile users to book at ease from their mobiles.
Digital India is going to witness a mobile friendly ambience in trains with mobile charging points in general coaches, and Wi-Fi facility. An app to lodge complaints to the railway authorities is also being rolled out. Online booking of wheelchairs, special facilities in the stations and coaches for old and disabled passengers, lower berth quotas for senior citizens are some other potentials of this railway budget.
Railway ministry is also keen on maintaining cleanliness at all places by planning to have the facility of cleaning on demand, clean bed-rolls from automatic laundries, bio-toilets, dustbins in all non-AC coaches etc. This gives a larger hope for a cleaner India with cleaner railway stations which is in linear progression with the ‘Swachh Bharat’ mission of the PM.
Railway budget also plans for a customer friendly, safer travel with the installations of surveillance cameras in major stations. Giving priority to railway security, optional insurance have also been planned for the passengers.
Sri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Honorable Minister of Railways, and his team has looked at long term corrections instead of short term glories and I am so happy changes are happening in India to make Indian Railways at par with any other rail system in the world. Congratulations!
Photo Caption: Mr. V George Antony, MD UAE Exchange, India