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All Indian railway stations to be equipped with public Wi-Fi hotspots by March 2019

January 08, 2018

According to the Ministry of Railways, about 8,500 railways stations across the country, including those in rural and remote areas will be equipped with Wi-Fi facilities at an estimated cost of Rs 7 billion. The initiative is being undertaken as a part of the government's Digital India programme.

As per the plan finalised by the ministry, while 1,200 stations have been identified for this facility to primarily cater to rail passengers, about 7,300 stations have been earmarked to not only serve passengers but also local people in rural and remote areas. As per the timeline, the Indian Railways is planning to provide Wi-Fi facility at 600 stations by March 2018, while it aims to cover all 8,500 stations by March 2019. The ministry has currently commissioned Wi-Fi services at 216 major stations enabling about seven million rail passengers to log on to the free internet facility.

Moreover, railway stations in rural areas will have kiosks with Wi-Fi that will become digital hotspots offering services like digital banking, Aadhaar generation, issuing government certificates, including birth and death certificates and filing taxes and paying bills. The kiosks will also enable the local populace to order and receive goods from e-commerce portals. Further, the ministry noted that these kiosks will be operated at stations with private participation for the local population and the modalities of setting up such digital hotspots are being worked out with the Department of Telecommunications.

 
 

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