All 6000 stations in the railway network will have free WiFi connections in the next 120 days if collaborations with private players like Google are successful, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday.
Speaking at the launch of the project, ‘The Railways-Lifeline of the Nation’ (digitization of Indian Railway Heritage and bringing it online for wider dissemination and worldwide viewing) in collaboration with Google Cultural Institute, Goyal said that 711 railway stations already have free WiFi and his target was to reach the 6000 station mark in the next four months.
“Google with railways has provided free WiFi in over 400 stations, this shows how powerful collaborations can be and how it can be used to serve the people.
“We should expand this to all 6000 stations so that local people in the vicinity of the stations, particularly from the poor or marginalised sections of the society can use this and enjoy the fruits of the country’s development,” he said.
He highlighted the need for partnership in making this possible and urged Google to partner with railways to provide free WiFi in more stations.
“We have offered over 5000 stations for public private partnership on Rail Sahayog website for WiFi…maybe Google can take some of these stations up. I hope to have WiFi connections in all 6000 stations in the next 120 days in the spirit of partnership,” he said.
‘The Railways-Lifeline of the Nation’ project will showcase the heritage of Indian Railways on Google Arts and Culture, an online platform of art and culture by the search engine giant.It will have more than 100 online exhibitions, more than 150 videos and 3500 images.
It will offer an in-depth exploration of the sights, sounds and significance of Indian railways. The project will also bring alive the lesser known stories and heroic efforts of people like trackmen, station incharges and workshop engineers, to celebrate their contribution to India’s railways.
“The extraordinary heritage, history and culture of Indian Railways is truly fascinating, and a treat for both the young and the old. This initiative is all about the iconic moments, the heritage, and the making of Indian Railways, which today is the backbone of the country in many ways,” said Amit Sood, Director, Google Cultural Institute.
Google Arts & Culture has partnered with more than 1800 institutions in 80 countries globally, with 50 million people using the Google Arts & Culture platform every month. In India, Google Arts & Culture has partnered with over
50 cultural institutions to bring digital exhibits capturing country’s rich culture online.
Users all around the world can explore these on Google Arts and Culture website and mobile app for free.