Didis Budget: Whats for IT?

DQI Bureau
New Update

It was undoubtedly one of Indias more populist railway budgets in recent

times with no hike either in passenger fares or freight. Several critics (mostly

those not from Bengal) other than the opposition would crib about the

excessive Bengal focus, but the fact of the matter is that every Railway

Minister from every state has always favored his/her home turf...but, at the end

of the day, even extra development of a particular state translates into

development of the nation.


So what is the role that IT or technology per se has been conceived to play

under Mamatas new Railway Budget? The highlight would be the decision to set up

mobile e-ticketing centers at universities, hospitals, courts, IITs, IIMs,

district headquarters and village panchayats. This is like killing three birds

with one stone. Considering how successful e-ticketing has been, it is still a

predominantly urban phenomenon. By taking it to the panchayat level, Mamata has

somewhat bridged the digital divide. Its also a tremendous fillip to e-commerce

in the country. Last but not the least, considering how Railways touches the

lives of every citizen and villager, this could help in Internet penetration


A Center for Railway Research would be coming up at IIT Kharagpur. Didi has

been very generous with new plants and her lergesse there extends beyond the

borders of Bengal. Work on the Rae Bareilli Coach Factory in UP would start

within a year, a Wagon Repair Shop to be set up near Badnera in Amravati in

Maharashtra, Integral Coach Factory in Chennai to be modernized and a new unit

to be set up there and, if land is available, a Diesel Multiple Unit Factory to

be set up in West Bengal. Besides, Railways would develop ten new automobile

hubsan ironic twist!

Extensive IT usage would also come in the modernization of ninety-three

railway stations as well as high-speed dedicated passenger corridors that are to

be constructed. The proposed setting up of the National High Speed Rail

Authority RFID for freight transport ... one could soon foresee a host of IT

vendors vying to bag those lucrative contracts.

Rajneesh De