The Indian Railways is eyeing to provide WiFi services onboard trains for its next milestone. Union Minister Piyush Goyal, who is on a visit to Stockholm, said that the railways will provide the new services in the next four to four-and-a-half years. According to Piyush Goyal, as of now, over 5150 railway stations across India are enabled with WiFi services. However, the railways aims to cover all 6500 stations by 2020-end and provide WiFi services.
"We are trying to provide WiFi services at all 6,500 stations by end of next year," Goyal told the press.
When Goyal was asked about WiFi services inside trains he said that the installing services onboard trains would be complicated considering the complicated technology subjects and the barriers that follow. He also stated that doing so will require large amount of investment. Goyal also added that foreign expertise will need to be considered on the matter.
"It is a more complicated technology subject. Giving WiFi in running trains requires investment. Towers need to be put and there has to be equipment inside trains. In this, we might have to bring in foreign technology and investors," added Goyal
Goyal however, talking about the benefits of an enabled WiFi service inside train said that it will also be a valuable addition in terms of security.
"But it will help a lot in terms of security as CCTVs would be there in every train compartment and its live feed will go to police station. The signaling system will work in a better manner through WiFi facility. In next four or four-and-a-half years we will start this facility." said Goyal
Goyal, during his interaction with the media also said that the railways are undergoing modernization with the help of private players.
"We are doing station modernization with the help of private players, like we did in Bhopal for instance where a private company has modernised the entire station and it is near in completion. NBCC is working in 12-13 location to modernise the station and simultaneously to develop the complexes for housing, commercial activity, shopping malls in a cross-subsidy model, once this model becomes successful there will be faster rollout across the country," he said
Goyal also said that the government is planning to segregate the station modernization with the monetization of land. "There are lots of possibilities to involve the private sector in these activities. There are several locations across the country where there will be huge demand of Railway land. We have planned to use the Railway land for solar installation in a big way. Under the leadership of our Prime Minister, we want to make Railways the world's first zero-emission Railway," he said.
The minister also mentioned about the railways going 100% electric in the next four to five years. "We are also planning for industrial parks on Railway lands. It's a new area and we are trying to locate certain parcels of land that the Railways owns, but does not need requirement which can be at some stage become industrial parks and become generators of number of jobs and working opportunities while adding to the economic activity of India," he said.
(With ANI Inputs)