New Delhi: Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday said that nearly 6,000 railway stations will be made Wi-Fi enabled in the upcoming six to eight months. The minister also stressed on the need for high-speed Internet connectivity in the remotest parts of the country. “We believe that if we have to leverage digital technology, the basic thing is to ensure access to technology in the remotest part of the country,” Goyal said at the ‘Smart Railways Conclave’ organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

Goyal added that the Railways is also working on a programme to ensure last-mile connectivity, wherever there were no fibre optics network. “We are hopeful that in the next six to eight months, all railway stations other than halt stations — about 6,000 stations — will be Wi-Fi enabled,” the Minister said. “We are focusing on the implementation of smart projects. We will have to start thinking, planning, and working smartly. I think that’s the change that you must have seen in the last four years.”

The Minister stressed on the punctuality of trains and said that between April 1 and August 28, punctuality had improved to 73-74 per cent due to an installation of data loggers at interchange points to ensure computer-generated timings instead of the station master recording the timings. “We are working on putting GPS on every locomotive so that we will have every train marked on mobile phone, knowing exactly where they are,” he said.

It must be noted that like flight attendants, railway catering staff will now carry trash bags to collect waste from passengers on all trains after meals, as per Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani instructions. The railways are increasingly adopting the airline model — from its food to its vacuum toilets — to give passengers airline-like comforts.

(With IANS inputs)