By Dashmeet Kaur
Namastey Indians, this is no Ramesh-Suresh five-star debacle. This article solely belongs to the man who has put in direst of his efforts in the Indian Railways‘ sphere to ensure more connectivity and also make India stand on a higher ‘platform’. Let’s take you on an inquisitive ride about India’s railways minister, Mr. Suresh Prabhu and his contributions.
Let’s get to know Suresh Prabhu.
There’s a lot that this man has been pulling off in his coach. He is –
- The current Railway Minister (which is why the platform pun)
- A Chartered Accountant by profession (some serious brains oh prabhu!)
- A member of BJP and currently represents Haryana in the Upper House of Indian Parliament.
- Runs an NGO- Manav Sadhan Vikas Sanstha which is working towards the empowerment of people.
Here’s a detailed list of the three IT-enabled applications that he has launched in the recent times:
1. Kick-starting the pilot project of E-Bedroll-
E-Bedroll allows the passengers to avail bedroll kits through online booking and from over the counter at selected outlets set up by the IRCTC on the stations. This facility is a boon for sleep-enthusiasts and for the other passengers who shall for ONCE, stop complaining about their bedding (no kidding). That’s not it! The distinctive feature of the scheme is that the bedroll is a takeaway facility that the passengers can take to their homes; the instructions with regard to this will be clearly mentioned on the non-woven sealed carry bag. *thaat se sona aur thaat se yaadein le jana*.
Man, I so need to plan about my next train journey and the kind of comfort it assures to offer with the dream-like kits despite of LOUD music or talks all night long. (My experiences have always been NOT in my favour.)
2. Paperless Mobile Ticket
Mobile has become of such importance in our lives that people don’t even give it a break while attending nature’s conference calls and Mr. Suresh has helped to make it more useful by launching an app for paperless unreserved tickets and to save nature (paper? A tad logical). Anyway, this initiative allows for seamless ticketing facility for suburban rail users using their smart phones. It can be used for booking unreserved tickets at any of the stations of Secunderabad, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.
There are some restrictions too because everything is just NOT that comfortable dear people-
- One can book the tickets on the app BUT within 5 kilometeres of the station where one starts the journey
- One can buy platform tickets on the app BUT within 2 kms of the station.
It sounds like one of those situations wherein you’re like “Hey I need to study for my exam tomorrow BUT let me just not do that and make sure I get to sit with my friend(who opened the book a night ago) in hopes of marginally clearing”.
- Launch of handheld terminals for railways
To bring about transparency and heading towards a Digital India, Mr. Brains-too-good-for-C.A. has come up with IT enabled applications that launched handheld terminals in Northern Railways that will enable TTE’s (Travelling Ticket Examiners) to update an entire train’s passenger list and highlight vacant berths which can be sent back to
- HHT application servers
- the Passenger Reservation System (PRS) terminals and
- indianrail.gov website to be viewed.
The biggest spin-offs of the project are:
- Revenue yield maximisation by making onboard accommodation availability visible to downstream stations.
- It will ensure greater transparency in the allotment procedure altogether.
- It will ensure better productivity norms as the process of ticket checking will get simplified considerably.
Now these are some very interesting developments for a Digital India but only time will tell how effective and efficient they are.