Plans to expand IT operations in Railways

By agencies   |   Thursday, 21 July 2005, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: Information Technology is all set to transform the lives of the hassled Indian rail passengers with the introduction of computerization in unreserved ticketing, freight and parcel and a National Integrated Train Enquiry System.

"Probably the Railways is the only government department to make full use of information technology in its different services. We already have done a lot and now planning extensive use of advanced computer applications in our services ", says R K Singh, Chairman, Railway Board.

While the Railways has till now covered 97 percent of the country under its computerized Reserved Ticketing System (RTS), the next step is to computerize the process of Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS).

"At present, only reserved tickets can be booked through our computerized system. But, we have already started working on computerizing the issue of unreserved tickets. It will allow both long and short distance passengers to get tickets through a computerized system. This facility will be available at 1500 locations across the country", says Singh.

The Railways also has plans to improve its services in freight and parcel. Railways admits that the present performance in freight and parcel is not up to the mark and there are complaints of non-delivery and delay in shipment. At times, customers are left to run from pillar to post to gather information about their goods.

"A Freight Operating Information System is also going to be set up, which will enable customers to gather information through the internet about their goods at any stage of transportation. A customer will be able to know where his goods have reached by simply logging onto the Internet", he says.

Another area where the Railways is bringing information technology into the act is claims. It is often seen that both passengers and the Railway employees need to go through a taxing process to redress their claims.

"Claims is one area where people need to go through a lengthy process and face a lot of harassment. We are going to computerize the entire process. It will speed up the work and also bring better management and proper response to claims", says Singh.

To back all the new measures, Railways is going to institute a National Integrated Train Enquiry System, which will make it easier for anyone to gather relevant information without hassle.

"Though we have an enquiry system, it becomes difficult to get information at times. The National Integrated Train Enquiry System will be an answer to all that. It will have a single window approach, which will enable people at any place to gather information about any service of Railways instantly through telephone or the Internet", says Singh.

"There are complaints about our services in freight and parcel. We are making efforts to improve it by introducing some new measures. An electronic payment gateway is being created for freight and parcel. It will allow error-free registration of the goods to be transported", says Singh.

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