New Delhi, Mar 24 (PTI) Railway Minister Piyush Goyal today said it was a “matter of concern” that railway organisations were still working in “silos” despite officials committing to do away with the practice.

Addressing a conference on artificial intelligence here, Goyal expressed his displeasure over various organisations of the railways functioning in isolation.

The minister also said that if used well, artificial intelligence could help transform the railways and ensure endless benefits.

He asked officials not to feel threatened by artificial intelligence, saying it cannot replace anyone, but can aid functioning.

Actually, I urge you to move a note. Every one of our services, since we do believe in continuing with our silos much against my own desire, Goyal said.

The minister said that the situation persists despite top 250 officials at a meeting here few months ago committing that they would try and integrate railway organisations and break these silos .

Am very disappointed that our board still chooses to live in silos. It’s a matter of great concern and sadness for a person like me that we are not able to break the silos in the railways, he said.

The minister also noted that in the absence of change and integration in the railways, data prepared would be completely useless . Not using data is criminal as it costs the railways, he said.

Half the data we have, we are not even able to retrieve if we so desire. And the kind of data overdose I am seeing in the railways, is actually harmful for our system. It is not giving us any outcome whatsoever, Goyal said.

The minister told the gathering not to feel intimidated by the changes taking place the world over, but absorb those to make lives easier and safer for passengers on board trains as quality service is delivered to them.

He said artificial intelligence could be used in better asset management and crowd management.

The minister also suggested addressing issues such as how artificial intelligence can be harnessed for social good, economic, organisational and human good.

Artificial intelligence can actually transform the way we are running the railways in terms of safety, passengers’ amenities, in terms of growth, efficiency, better revenues, cost-effectiveness, cost control and the list is endless, Goyal added.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.