New Delhi, July 26: Indian Railways introduces biometric system for unreserved coaches: In a passenger-friendly step, Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways has for the first time introduced a system of biometric identification to guarantee seats to railway passengers in general class unreserved coaches. The pilot project has been launched at Western Railway division’s Mumbai Central railway station and Bandra Terminus. The aim of the project is to prevent stampede like situation at platforms at the time of boarding trains with unreserved coaches. According to Indian Railways, general class passengers often complain about cornering of seats by antisocial elements.
How does Indian Railways new biometric system for unreserved coaches work?
Passengers purchasing tickets for the general class coaches will have to get their fingerprints scanned at the biometric machine, after which a token will be generated. The total number of tokens generated will be in line with the number of seats in a particular general class coach. The passengers can then assemble in a queue as per their serial number on the token a few minutes before the rake is placed on the platform. The RPF staff at the entry point of the general class coach verifies the token serial number and allows the passengers to board the coach in an orderly manner.
The biometric machine is being used for the general class coaches of the following trains:
Amravati Express (Mumbai Central station)
Jaipur Superfast Express (Mumbai Central station)
Karnavati Express (Mumbai Central station)
Gujarat Mail (Mumbai Central station)
Golden Temple Mail (Mumbai Central station)
Paschim Express (Bandra Terminus)
Amaravati Express (Bandra Terminus)
Avadh Express (Bandra Terminus)
Maharashtra Sampark Kranti Express (Bandra Terminus)
Attempts at crowd control by RPF have face challenges with people jumping queues. The additional benefit of the initiative is that it does away with corrupt practices in allocation of seats and also helps the Railway Protection Force (RPF) identify possible thieves through fingerprint records.
Indian Railways has procured 4 biometric machines, 2 each for the Mumbai Central railway station and Bandra Terminus station. An advanced version of the machine is also being eyed for induction. "This machine also captures images of passengers, eliminating the need for video recording of passengers boarding general class coaches," Ravinder Bhakar, CPRO of Western Railway told Financial Express Online. As many as 8 advanced biometric identification machines will be procured by Indian Railways – 4 each for Ahmedabad abd Mumbai divisions. Two machines will be used at the Surat station and one each at the Mumbai Central and Bandra Terminus stations of the Mumbai division.