Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Tuesday launched three IT initiatives developed by the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), the ministry's IT arm.
These include paperless unreserved ticketing through mobile phones between New Delhi and Palwal section, coin-cum-card operated automatic ticket vending machines at New Delhi railway station and a 'Parichalaan' mobile application for freight operations.
"The new initiatives are directed towards improving passenger and customer services on Indian Railways. The IT applications which have been inaugurated today are an indication that Indian Railways is constantly moving towards e-Governance," Prabhu said. He said the IT initiatives being undertaken by Indian Railways were in line with the Digital India Programme.
Prabhu had earlier launched paperless unreserved ticketing system for Chennai and Mumbai suburban sections.
The minister also said monthly season ticket (MST) and platform tickets would also be available for purchase via mobile for the passengers in Mumbai and Chennai suburban railway network.
The paperless system shall now be proliferated to other important suburban sections of Eastern Railway, South Eastern Railway and South Central Railway shortly, the minister said.
Talking about the introduction of coin-cum-currency operated ticketing vending machine, Prabhu said that this was another step forward in ensuring that passengers get their tickets quickly under aOperation five minutes' scheme announced in the railway budget.
"These ticket vending machines shall be installed at all the major stations in the country. About 450 machines are being procured and installed by CRIS and shall be available at major stations during the next 3 months," he added.
About the app, the minister said that "the app shall greatly help the senior decision makers of operating department to plan freight operations on real time basis. After the initial experiment, this app shall be provided to other operating officers in the field."
In addition, Prabhu said that a memorandum of understanding will be signed shortly between railways department of CRIS and ISRO for using Geospatial Technology and satellite technology for various operations of railways.