STOCKHOLM: Union Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal said that the central government is planning to provide WiFi service inside trains in the next four to four-and-a-half years.
Goyal, who is currently in Sweden, said that WiFi service is available at around 5150 railway stations in India. "We are trying to provide WiFi services at all 6,500 stations by end of next year," Goyal told ANI.
When asked about providing WiFi service inside trains, Goyal said, "It is a more complicated technology subject. Giving WiFi in running trains requires investment. Towers need to be put and there has to be equipment inside trains. In this, we might have to bring in foreign technology and investors."
He added, "But it will help a lot in terms of security as CCTVs would be there in every train compartment and its live feed will go to a police station. The signalling system will work in a better manner through WiFi facility. In the next four or four-and-a-half years, we will start this facility."
Meanwhile, Goyal told media here, "We are doing station modernisation with the help of private players like we did in Bhopal for instance where a private company has modernised the entire station and it is near in completion. NBCC is working in 12-13 location to modernise the station and simultaneously to develop the complexes for housing, commercial activity, shopping malls in a cross-subsidy model, once this model becomes successful there will be faster rollout across the country."
Goyal said that the government is planning to segregate the station modernisation with the monetisation of land. "There are lots of possibilities to involve the private sector in these activities. There are several locations across the country where there will be a huge demand of Railway land. We have planned to use the Railway land for solar installation in a big way. Under the leadership of our Prime Minister, we want to make Railways the world's first zero-emission Railway," he said.
The Union Minister said that in another four-five years, Railways will be 100 per cent electric. "We are also planning for industrial parks on Railway lands. It's a new area and we are trying to locate certain parcels of land that the Railways owns, but does not need requirement which can be at some stage become industrial parks and become generators of a number of jobs and working opportunities while adding to the economic activity of India," he said.