Premier railway stations under SWR yet to get WiFi

Premier railway stations under SWR yet to get WiFi

Bengaluru City Railway Station earned the distinction of being the first station in the country to get free WiFi facility. But other stations under the South Western Railway (SWR) still await it.

In the last Railway budget in 2014-15, the then Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda had announced that all A and A1 category stations would get WiFi facility. However, after the Bengaluru City station, none of the other A and A1 stations under SWR got this facility.

In the Railway budget for the current financial year, 2015-16, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had announced WiFi facility for B category stations as well.
The task of providing WiFi facility at A and A1 category stations has been entrusted to RailTel, a railways public sector undertaking.

Bengaluru City station received WiFi facility in October 2014 as a pilot project which was to be emulated in A, A1 and B category stations under SWR, like Yeshwantpur, Bengaluru Cantonment, Mysuru and Hubballi.

Sources in Railways say that the authorities are taking a casual approach to the issue. They say that the Bengaluru City Railway station got the facility early probably because of the home state connection of Sadananda Gowda during his brief stint as railway minister.

At the City station, WiFi facility is available to passengers on their mobile phones, laptops free of charge, initially for a period of 30 minutes. For use beyond 30 minutes, the user may purchase scratch cards available at the WiFi help desk.

These are priced at Rs 25 for 30 minutes and Rs 35 for one hour and are valid for a period of 24 hours. Additional browsing time can also be purchased online using credit/debit cards, a senior railway official said.

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