All 8500 Railway Stations To Get Wi-Fi Under The #DigitalIndia Initiative!
This initiative will also give a boost to Digital India in the rural areas where this Wi-Fi will also be open for people to use outside railway stations.
Indian Railways is on a roll this year.
Within 2 weeks of 2018, Indian Railways has already announced two new, big initiatives: We had earlier reported that all trains will now have cutting-edge GPS trackers for more safety and a new debit card would be launched by Indian rail for cashless transactions.
And now, the third biggest initiative has been announced: WiFi across all 8500 railway stations across the length and breadth of India!
A budget of Rs 700 Crores has already been announced for this initiative under Digital India!
All Railway Stations To Be Wifi Connected
Railway Ministry has confirmed that now 100% of railway stations will be provided with high-speed WiFi connectivity, and not only passengers but local populations would be also encouraged to use the WiFi.
While 1200 railway stations will only cater to passengers and provide them with WiFi connectivity; 7300 railway stations in rural areas will provide WiFi to passengers as well as locals.
A senior Railway Ministry official said,
“Internet access has now become an important requirement in day-to-day working and we shall be providing this facility at all railway stations in the country,”
March 2019 is the deadline for completing this massive project, and Rs 700 crore is the allocated budget.
Railways Stations To Turn Into Digital Hubs
Indian Railways’ new and aggressive plan to digitize all their railway stations has been planned with a long-term vision of generating employment as well.
WiFi hubs which would be build at 8500 railway stations will act as local digital hubs (which were earlier described as Digital PCO), where people will pay for availing digital services like ‘digital banking, Aadhaar generation, issuing government certificates, including birth and death certificates, and filing taxes and paying bills’ and more.
The official said,
“These kiosks will be operated at stations with private participation for the local population. The modalities of setting up such digital hot spots are being worked out with the Telecom Ministry.”
Right now, Indian Railways is providing high-speed WiFi across 216 railway stations, in partnership with Google; and based on the usage pattern, it seems that the service is a big hit with passengers and locals alike.
Interestingly, Railway Officials haven’t yet revealed whether Google will be roped in for their pan-India WiFi roll-out or any other partner would be selected.
We will keep you updated.