Indian Railways Goes On Massive Digitalization Drive; Will Accrue Rs 60,000 Crore Savings!
In the year 2002, Indian Railways underwent a massive transformation when they introduced Internet-based ticketing system – Irctc.co.in, the website where online ticketing platform was built, is right now India’s biggest e-commerce portal, selling out more than 13 lakh tickets a day.
However, there are several operations which are still manual and need human intervention. It is a mystery why railways avoided digitalization of the whole process.
Digitalization Will Save Rs 60,000 Crore For Indian Railways
But not anymore. In a major decision, Indian Railways has decided to go for complete digitalization of their railway operation. A customised ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) would be developed for them, which will manage each and every rail operation.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said, “Vision for Railways is to address those issues for which Railways is suffering today. Complete digitisation will enable operation can be managed from one place..”
Recently, the entire supply-chain process of Indian Rail was converted into an online platform, which enables tender to procurement and payment of contract via an online platform. Their decision to adopt digitalization for every aspect is an extension of this.
Besides, they will also adopt solar power in a massive way, which will help them to save on electric costs. Generation of power via solar energy among other strategies has also been planned, which will help Indian rail to save Rs 41,000 crore.
Minister said, “We have planned for producing 1000 MW solar power… All our plants are subjected to energy audit so as to bring energy efficiency. We are also using LED bulbs to conserve energy.”
We had earlier reported that 7000 railway stations would be 100% powered by solar energy, and Govt. has already allocated a budget of Rs 8100 crore for the same.
Summer Bonanza For Passengers
In a related news, Indian Railways has announced several interesting schemes and plans, so that passengers who are travelling during harsh summers have a pleasant journey.
Some of these include:
- Vikalp scheme for wait-listed passengers, so that their tickets are auto-upgraded to a higher class, without paying anything extra.
- Wheelchairs can be booked online
- Waiting rooms can be booked online
- Cancellation of tickets can be now done using 139 toll-free number
- Water-chilling plants would be established across major stations
- Boarding points can be changed online
- Revamped catering policy with transparent prices
And lately, such reforms and innovations like the push for non-fare revenues have been bearing fruits as well.
Recently, it was revealed that 10 out of 17 rail zones have reported profits for the fiscal year 2016-17, although operating ratio is still under loss.