Indian Railways is on its path to rapid progress with several out-of-the-box initiatives launched in quick succession over the last few months. While the Government of India is looking to embed cashless transactions in every sector possible, only last month, the Indian Railways has joined the party, introducing the option of using debit and credit cards to pay penalties and any other additional fares.
In this context, the authorities of the Indian Railways aim to roll out a plan to make all the 8,500 odd railway stations in the country WiFi-enabled. With a potential budget of $110 million (approx. Rs 700 crore), there is soon going to be more contribution to the Digital India initiative by extending WiFi facility to the railway stations in rural and remote areas as well.
In a chat with Indian Express, a senior official of the Indian Railways 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.
The ones at the rural areas will have special kiosks with the options of digital banking, Aadhaar generation, issuing of government certificates, including birth and death certificates, and filing taxes and paying bills. The railway official as reported by NDTV 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.
As of today, 216 major railway stations in the country have WiFi while the plan is to install the service in 600 stations by March 2018 and all the 8,500 stations by March 2019.