NEW DELHI: Railways is likely to propose the use of radio-frequency identification tags in its upcoming budget for tracking and tracing of wagons, coaches and locomotives even as the public transporter looks to leverage information technology in a big way to improve services.
Rail Budget 2015-16 is expected to propose extensive use of IT systems in everything from the management of rolling stock to the development of Apps for passengers and provision for Wi-Fi on rail premises.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has given directions for leveraging the use of IT in railway functioning and the use of radio-frequency identification (RFID) devices in wagons, coaches and locomotives is a step in that direction, said a senior Railway Ministry official.
Prabhu will propose that RFID devices be used for freight maintenance management, locomotive management, coach maintenance management and fuel management systems so as to ensure more effective and transparent functioning.
Using RFID devices, it will be easier for Railways to know the exact position of wagons, locomotives and coaches and also the fuel position. Currently, such data is maintained manually, which leaves room for inaccuracy.
There will be a progressive shift from periodic maintenance to predictive maintenance of rolling stock by leveraging IT, the official added.
With the introduction of RFID, the issue of shortage of wagons, locomotives and coaches is expected to be addressed in a more transparent and expeditious manner, the official said.
IT will also be used for enhancing the security of railway passengers, particularly women. Provision of CCTV cameras in ladies' coaches and development of an app for improving the security of women passengers are also likely to be announced.
Digitised land mapping is also expected to be part of the Budget proposal. Creation of a land bank and commercial utilisation of vacant land is the motive behind going for digitised land mapping, the official said.
While New Delhi station has already become Wi-Fi-equipped, Prabhu is keen to extend the facility at other major stations.
The twin proposals for e-procurement and e-payment are also to be made specifically to promote e-governance in railways, he said.