Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that expectation of railway users are quite basic in nature like cleanliness in stations and trains, quality in catering and security and safety. It is the responsibility and the duty of the railway administration to meet their expectations. Indian Railways have been taking lot of measures to improve the facilities of the railway users. The world is seeing the changes in various field and the railways should also keep pace with the latest technology.
He said Wi-Fi facility which is being given at New Delhi station today will be extended to the other stations and also in running trains. He asked RailTel to work out a business model for this purpose. He said that use of science and technology and information and communication technology will make life easier for the common people. He said that it is in this context that Hon’ble PM has been emphasizing on the concept of Digital India and Indian Railways is fully committed to the use of IT for improving facilities for rail users. Railway Minister informed that he has also directed CRIS, the IT arm of Ministry of Railways, to develop an application for the safety of women passengers. He also said that such an application should be part of an integrated system involving all the stake holders. He said we should also encourage our railway personnel to use more IT related products and they should be accordingly given the facility of IT products.
MP from New Delhi, Ms. Meenakshi Lekhi complimented Railways for providing this facility at New Delhi station which is free for first 30 minutes for railway users.
The Wi-Fi facility is to be provided at 75 A1 category stations within a period of 12 months. On trial basis, the facility is to be launched at Agra, Ahmedabad & Varanasi by end of Dec 2014 and at Howrah, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai & Secunderabad by Jan-2015. The Ministry of Communications & Information Technology has been approached for financial support from (Universal Service Obligation Fund) USOF in providing Wi-Fi facility at way side stations particularly in remote areas.
Installing the Wi-Fi follows some very simple steps – i) First switch On Wi-Fi on your mobile ii) Choose Wi-Fi network- RailWire which is free iii) open browser iv) enter mobile number to register v) after registration, you will get one time password (OTP) via SMS vi) you are now ready to log in for surfing. The RailWire powered Wi-Fi will give maximum speed of 1 mbps. Wi-Fi facility shall be available to the users free of cost initially for a period of 30 minutes by registering on the Wi-Fi network through their mobile. For usage beyond 30 minutes, the user may purchase scratch cards, which will be made available at the 24X7 Wi-Fi Help Desks in the concourse on Paharganj and Ajmeri gate side of station adjoining platform no. 1 and 16 respectively. These cards are priced at Rs.25 for 30 minutes and Rs.35 for 1 Hour and are valid through 24 hours.
The Wi-Fi facility is being executed by RailTel with a Gigabit Ethernet network using Optic Fibre Cable (OFC) in a ring. 22 such GE switches deliver to 60 numbers of Wireless Access Points (AP), which are commissioned strategically at all 16 Platforms including concourse area. OFC cable has been laid in all the platforms at New Delhi Station, including Foot Over Bridge (FOB) and concourse. The total cost of the project is Rs. 50 lakh and an amount of Rs. 16 lakh will be spent annually to run the facility.