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Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu advocates major push for complete Digitalisation of Indian Railways

The conference focused on building a road map for transforming the Indian Railways into a completely digital enterprise

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New Delhi, March 27, 2017: Advocating major push for complete digitalisation of the Indian Railways, Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Monday said the move could prove to be a game changer as it would result in saving billions of dollars.

Prabhu said a holistic approach for digitalisation of the Railways in partnership with the IT industry would benefit both the Railways as well as the vendors who partner with it in different spheres.

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“We are working on an integrated, comprehensive strategy to leverage information technology for improvements in systems and processes, and to enhance efficiency,” Prabhu said at a conference on “Building Digital Railway for Digital India” here.

The conference focused on building a road map for transforming the Indian Railways into a completely digital enterprise.

“It (complete digitalisation) will be a game changer if the Railways can save six billion dollars by investing two billion dollars,” Prabhu said.

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The minister, however, warned that cyber security should be kept in mind while going for digital platforms.

The Indian Railways One Information and Communication Technology (IR-OneICT) Platform is an initiative to enable Indian Railways to deliver goods and services in tune with the demands by creation of logistics and transport capacity enabled by digital platform.

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It aims to use digital technology to better connect the goods and services with the market.

“The better capacity and asset utilisation would mean helping Indian Railways in running more trains, carrying more freight, providing better and reliable services to the passenger, increased revenues and safe operations,” a government statement said. (IANS)

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The Families Of Victims In Railway Accident Incident In India Stage Protests

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the accident a "heart-wrenching tragedy" and asked officials to provide immediate assistance to the injured.

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People gather at the site of an accident after a train traveling at high speed ploughed through a crowd of people on rail tracks near Amritsar, India. VOA

Angry relatives of the scores of people who were killed in India when they were run over by a speeding train staged protests Saturday while one of the country’s railway officials maintains the railway is not responsible for the tragic accident.

The train was traveling at high speed when it ploughed through a crowd Friday at a religious festival on the outskirts of the northern city of Amritsar, killing 59 people, Punjab state’s Chief Minister, Amarinder Singh, told reporters Saturday. Singh said 57 others were injured and an official investigation would be carried out over the next four weeks.

The Jalandhar-Amritsar express was traveling at 90 kilometers per hour when it hit the crowd, which had gathered on the tracks to watch a fireworks display marking the Hindu festival of Dussehra.

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The Hindu festival of Dussehra.

Hundreds of relatives of the victims engaged in sporadic protests on and near the tracks Saturday, calling for action against local authorities and the train operator, who was questioned Saturday by police.

Authorities moved the protestors off the tracks and brought in reinforcements to control the crowd.

‘No lapse on our part’

The railway accident was India’s worst in years, but the junior minister who manages Indian Railways, the world’s fourth largest rail system, refused to accept responsibility.

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A man mourns next to the burning pyre of a family member who died after a train traveling at high speed ploughed through a crowd of people, at a cremation site in Amritsar, India. VOA

“Railways cannot be blamed. Railways were not informed about the ceremony,” Manoj Sinha told reporters Saturday. Speaking to reporters, Sinha ruled out any punitive action against his staff, saying, “There was no lapse on our part and no action against the driver will be initiated.”

Local government officials said the festival takes place every year on the outskirts of Amritsar and that railroad authorities are alerted to run the trains at slow speeds.

Witnesses said the victims did not realize the train was coming because of the sound of the fireworks and celebrations.

‘Heart-wrenching’

Some witnesses said the train did not sound its whistle as it sped past the festival site.

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With India, Indian Railway is also digitizing, Pixels

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the accident a “heart-wrenching tragedy” and asked officials to provide immediate assistance to the injured.

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India’s railway network remains the main form of travel in the vast country, where railway accidents are relatively common.

Millions of Hindus celebrate the Dussehra festival by burning giant effigies of the demon Ravana, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil. (VOA)