As a pilot project, internet service was provided in Howrah-Rajdhani Express train.
Reportedly the project did not turn out to be cost-effective.
Indian Railways has dropped its plan of providing free internet facility to the passengers in trains. The Union Railway Minister said that the technology of satellite communication was capital intensive with recurring costs and was not cost-effective.
The Minister in his response to Lok Sabha said that the pilot project was provided in Howrah Rajdhani Express through satellite communication technology. The technology of satellite communication was capital intensive with recurring costs in the form of bandwidth charges and thus, the facility was not cost effective.
The minister also said that the internet bandwidth to train passengers was inadequate; hence the project has been dropped. As of now, a suitable cost effective technology is unavailable.
In 2019, it was announced that the central government is planning to provide Wi-Fi services in trains across the Indian Railways network. Presently, the facility of fast and free internet is being provided by the national transporter at more than 6,000 railway stations across the country on a self-sustainable basis with no cost to Indian Railways. The facility of high-speed Wi-Fi is being provided at stations with the help of RailTel, a public sector undertaking under the Railway Ministry.
It has also been informed that works have been approved for the provision of Video Surveillance System at all railway stations except halt railway stations. 814 railway stations have been equipped with CCTVs. Also, works for the installation of CCTVs in all coaches including EMUs as well as passenger trains have been approved. Till now, CCTVs have already been provided in as many as 4,141 coaches.
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