Workaholics, Internet addicts and those who have time to kill will soon have something to look forward to while waiting at New Delhi railway station as the Indian Railways have announced free Wi-Fi connectivity at the station.
In the next three to four months, one of the country’s busiest stations will be the first one to be a Wi-Fi enabled station, a facility that is so far limited to major international airports.
A free Wi-Fi service, considered a value added amenity, is already available on board the Howrah Rajdhani. The proposal to extend it to the station is part of the Railway Ministry’s efforts to spruce its services at the New Delhi railway station and push it to the “world class” category.
Budgetary allocations for the project were announced in the last Railway Budget. There are proposals to replace the existing information kiosks, presently installed at the station with tablets at designated places. Through the “user-friendly” tablets passengers will get information about the train position, expected arrival time and other relevant details about their journey.
Once operational, passengers on all the 16 platforms will be able to access the internet through Wi-Fi services, which will cost the Ministry about Rs.80 lakh. The station was selected on a pilot basis and once the experiment is successful, other railway stations in the Capital will also be Wi-Fi enabled, said an official.
The process for making the station Wi-Fi enabled has already been started. “Tenders were invited for equipping New Delhi railway station with Wi-Fi, after which a Mumbai-based company has been assigned the job. We expect the work to be completed in three to four months. It would be a free service and we are eagerly waiting for the project to be completed soon,” said a senior official with Northern Railway.
The official went on to say: “New Delhi railway station handles as many as 300 trains and five lakh passengers in a day. So the free Wi-Fi service will certainly add to some of the attractive features which the station has. It would also go a long way in making the station a world class one as it will be the first Wi-Fi enabled station in the country to have such a modern facility like major international airports,” the official added.