Sitting at a railway station, and waiting for a train that doesn’t seem to be turning up anytime soon, can be an annoying experience.
No doubt, stations have their own charm, and a million sights and sounds, but you might want information or just want to listen to your favourite song while taking in the atmosphere of a station.
According to a report in the Economic Times, as part of the ambitious Digital India initiative by the government, the national transporter has commissioned Wi-Fi services at 216 major stations enabling about seven million rail passengers to use the free Internet facility.
“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,” said a senior Railway Ministry official, speaking to ET.
The plan was finalised at a recent meeting. There are 1,200 stations which have been identified to cater to rail passengers, and about 7,300 stations have been earmarked to not only serve passengers but also local people in rural and remote areas.
Railway stations in rural areas will have kiosks with Wi-Fi, that will become digital hot spots offering services like:
Issuing Government Certificates like birth and death certificates.
The kiosks will also enable the locals to order and receive goods from e-commerce companies. The modalities of setting up these kiosks are being discussed with the Telecom Ministry, said the official mentioned above.
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According to the timeline, the target is to provide 600 stations with the Wi-Fi facility by March 2018, and the Railways aim to cover all 8,500 stations by March 2019.