Railways plans to equip 8,500 stations with Wi-Fi

It will cover 7,300 stations in rural and remote areas that will serve not only the passengers but also the local masses.  The railway stations in the rural areas will have kiosks for the local population.

New Delhi : The Indian Railways has drawn up a Rs 700-crore plan to equip nearly 8,500 railway stations across the country with Wi-Fi facilities by March 2019. Its major part is to cover 7,300 stations in rural and remote areas that will serve not only the passengers but also the local masses.

As part of the government’s ambitious Digital India initiative for the digital makeover of rural India to promote e-governance, the railway stations in the rural areas will have kiosks for the local population.

These kiosks will become digital hot spots offering services like digital banking, Aadhaar generation, issuing government certificates, including birth and death certificates, and filing taxes and paying bills, among others.

The kiosks will also enable the local populace to order and receive goods from e-commerce portals, a Railway Ministry official said, noting that these will be operated at stations with private participation.

The modalities of setting up such digital hot spots are being worked out with the Telecom Ministry.

“Our aim is to ensure that more and more people get connected to the rail Wi-Fi system as the Wi-Fi broadband access to these rail users will aid in implementing the government’s Digital India initiative,” the official said.

The Railways have already provided Wi-Fi services at 216 major stations, catering to seven million rail passengers to log on to the free Internet facility. The target is to cover 600 stations by March 31.

A plan finalised recently envisages Wi-Fi at 7300 stations to cater to both passengers and local population while 1200 stations will have facility primarily only for the rail passengers.

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