Do you remember, just before boarding the train, how the elders would crane their necks, and run their index finger, from left to right, on the chart stuck to the side of the carriage? On finding the name, they then had to check the seat number on the next column, and the age, sex, etc. All this, while keeping their finger or line of sight, on that line!
Physical reservation charts, always evoke a wee bit of nostalgia. Well, that nostalgia was evidently costing the South Western Railways Bengaluru Division (SBC), around Rs 60 lakh, and this is why the Indian Railways is doing away with physical reservation charts.
With this move, the national transporter, plans to save money, and go hi-tech at the same time. The initiative has been implemented in reserved coaches at the Hazrat Nizamuddin Station in New Delhi, Mumbai Central, Chennai Central, Howrah and Sealdah Station in Kolkata, and the Railways wants to now implement this across all trains, for six months.
Based on the income from passengers, the railways classifies its stations into seven categories: A1, A, B, C, D, E and F. It has 17 zones.
Quoting an official statement, Business Today reported that the railway ministry has directed its zones to discontinue pasting reservation charts on reserved coaches of all trains at A1, A and B category stations, as a pilot project for six months from March 1, 2018. Only the platforms will still have a physical chart, along with the hi-tech digital display.
The Southern Railways will discontinue physical charts from 1st March as well. Passengers can check information regarding their respective coach and berth number at centralised locations in all railway stations, and with travelling ticket examiners. This move will save around 28 tonnes of charting paper, worth approximately around Rs 1.70 lakh, a year. An official release quoted the above, adding that e-ticketing for reserved and unreserved tickets will be encouraged.
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This latest green initiative by the Railways comes close on the heels of the Pune Railway Station project, where solar energy is being encouraged, in place of conventional energy sources.
The Railways, in light of recent losses, seems to be taking the right steps, to ensure savings, which no matter how small, go a long way in keeping the national transporter healthy and sustainable!